Deron Williams

Deron Williams Credit: Getty Images

The Nets were looking at next year when they pulled off the Feb. 23 trade for Deron Williams.

The only problem is, Williams is looking beyond that.

The former Utah Jazz point guard underwent season-ending surgery Monday to
clear out three bone fragments and scar tissue from his right (shooting) wrist and should return to basketball-related activities in six to eight weeks. But the health issue could have a serious impact on New Jersey’s efforts to keep the free agent-in-waiting in a Nets uniform beyond next season’s final contract year, after which the team moves to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

According to the Daily News and Bergen Record, the Nets knew Williams had a wrist problem when they traded for him. But, buoyed by a report that indicated he would suffer no further injury by playing, they continued to use him in what was clearly a hopeless season. An MRI last Wednesday proved the prognosis wrong, and finally the Nets had to shut him down Friday.

Nets general manager Billy King told The Record that doctors said the fragments had been in the wrist for a while and that extended use did not cause the situation to degenerate.
But it probably didn’t help it, either.

Now, Williams has to ask himself whether he wants to stay with a team that needlessly put him at risk. (The Nets had a 24-56 record entering Monday night's game against the visiting Charlotte Bobcats.)

Once the NBA clears up its uncertain labor situation and Williams can hit the open market in 2012, the Knicks, among other teams, will be interested in adding Williams, who is averaging 15 points and 12.8 assists in 12 games with the Nets. Until then, Williams and the Nets are expecting a quick rehab.

“He’ll be playing golf this summer, shooting basketballs, getting ready for the season,” King told The Record.

Latest video