The New Jersey Nets gave up quite a bit to land all-star point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz just before the NBA’s trade deadline. But they’ve found out Williams isn’t prepared to commit to the term for any longer than next season. Williams said he isn’t prepared to discuss his contract with New Jersey until 2012 rolls around.
Williams said he was excited about the move, especially after chatting with Nets GM Billy King and coach Avery Johnson, but that’s as far as he went. He’s going to be paid $17.7 million for the 2012-13 season, but has the choice of opting out of the contract at the end of next season.
That’s got to be disappointing news to the Nets since the club is heading over to Brooklyn, N.Y. that season and wants to have a star in its lineup, and Williams fits that bill.
Williams said he can’t predict the future so couldn’t guarantee that he’ll still be with the Nets when they head to Brooklyn. He said it’s possible he’ll stay and realizes the club feels highly of him considering what they gave up to get him.
But he added that it all depends on how things go next season with the league’s collective bargaining agreement as well as the moves the basketball Nets make over the next year. The Nets tried to pry Carmelo Anthony away from Denver, but he ended up with the Knicks.
The Nets went to plan B and gave up rookie forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris, the number three pick in the next draft, and $3 million cash for Williams’ services. That’s a lot of he walks away after next season.
The NBA’s collective bargaining deal with the players’ union is up after this season. If a new agreement places maximums on salaries, Williams might have a hard time matching the $17.7 million he’ll be leaving behind.
The two-time all-star said he’s not worried about that right now though since he’s focused on trying to help new Jersey make the playoffs even though they’re 9.5 games out with just 25 games to go.
Coach Johnson said Williams will have a large say in the running the team’s offense for the remainder of the campaign and he can play as much as he as he feels like. Williams realizes it’s going to be a long shot making the playoffs this season, but said he’s looking forward to a fresh start with the club next season if they don’t make the playoffs.