The fate of the New Jersey Nets and whether or not they are relevant by the time they get to Brooklyn is now on the shoulders of Deron Williams. After missing out on some of the big-name free agents this offseason (unless you consider Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, and Jordan Farmar big-name) and losing Carmelo Anthony to New York, the Nets sent shockwaves through the NBA this week when they dealt for one of the best point guards in the NBA. It was a sneaky move by the Nets, but it also comes with a lot of risk as well. Deron Williams could be a free agent in the summer of 2012 so that means the Nets have a small window to surround Williams with a team that is capable of competing at a high level to prevent him from joining up with other stars around the NBA.
Even though the team gave up a big part of the future with draft picks, Derrick Favors, and Devin Harris, they needed a star to bring to Brooklyn with them and it’s not every day that a team can make a trade for one of the best point guards in the league. It was a risky move for the Nets, but one worth taking. They have the most important piece and can worry about 2012 when that time comes.
Deron Williams joined WFAN in New York with Joe and Evan to talk about what he was thinking when the trade went down, whether or not it was true that he found out by watching TV, if he still thinks the Nets can be a playoff team, what happened between him and Jerry Sloan, and what he wants to see happen in New Jersey to keep him around.
What he was thinking when he first heard about the trade:
“I was thinking that I was going from a potential playoff team to a team where it was going to be pretty hard to make the playoffs was my first thought. After a while, after comprehending, and getting on the phone with Billy King and seeing his vision and then talking to Coach Johnson, it got me excited about a new, fresh start.”
If it’s true that he heard the news after watching TV:
“I was shocked because I didn’t know what was going on. I did really find out from the organization. It looked like it was a rumor. Chris Broussard said it was almost done so I called my agent to try and find out what was going on. He went to call Kevin O’Connor our GM and then I ended up getting a call from the owner Greg Miller and he told me they had made a deal for me and wished me good luck.”
Whether or not he thinks the Nets can be a playoff team as soon as this year:
“Like you said it will be hard. I never said it wasn’t but it’s not impossible. We’re going to take it one game at a time. I’m going to start by learning these plays on this flight right now and see how it goes tomorrow.”
If he thinks his relationship with Jerry Sloan led to Sloan leaving Utah:
“I don’t think so. We’ve bumped heads a couple of times throughout my career. It was never a big deal the next day. I don’t think that in anyway led to him resigning. I think he was tired and it was not like it was his fourth year coaching. He had been doing it for 30 years and was 69-years-old. His legacy will never be forgotten, he’s a Hall-Of-Famer and I appreciate everything he has done for me throughout my career.”
Whether or not he believes you have to have multiple stars now to compete:
“Of course. You kinda have to now. That’s what everyone is doing. You’ve got Boston with the big four, Miami with their big three, and San Antonio with their big three. That’s the trend now and I’m gonna look to recruit guys legally. No tampering. I want to make sure people know there’s no tampering involved, but just bring some guys in here.”
What it will take to keep him in New Jersey:
“Since I’ve been in this league my ultimate goal is a championship. I want that and hopefully this franchise is going in the right direction. A lot of things appeal to me. The move to Brooklyn and we have a lot of money to get marquee guys and bring some guys in here is definitely appealing to me. At the end of this contract when I can sit down and decide things that’s when I will decide, but until then I’m not concerned about my future.”