By Cory Bernstein
The Nets made their first notable offseason signing on a 6’9 forward who is best when playing power forward, but can play small forward as well. The Nets picked him up for his length, athletisicm, and excellent three point shooting. He is expected to man a forward spot this season.
We’ve heard this song before as Net fans, but instead of spending thirty five million dollars on Travis Outlaw like last season, the Nets spent six on Shawne Williams. Williams is expected to do what Outlaw was brought in for last season, and there is no way he could be worse. Shawne (that’s what we’re calling him for this season with four Williams’ on the roster) will get major minutes this season, as the Nets using their amnesty clause on Travis Outlaw. Williams had a very solid year with the Knicks last season, shooting better than 40% from three point land and having a solid rebounding rate for a small forward of 10.3 Williams is an average defender, but on a team like the Nets he will be one of the better defensive players.
I think this was a good value signing, but Williams will not cut it as a starting forward. He is a very good role player who can be trusted off the bench, but I would be surprised if he was starting for the majority of this season. It seems that the Nets have closed in on signing Andrei Kirilenko, and I would be surprised if the Nets didn’t end up re-signing Kris Humhries. This gives us a three forward rotation that was much better than last year’s poo poo platter of Stephen Graham and Outlaw, but still not great.
By signing Williams, the Nets got a very good role player. He will undoubtedly help the Nets for the next two seasons, but Billy King still needs to address many needs. Deron Williams is not going to want to stay on a team with players like Shawne Williams starting, as he is a starting forward. Hopefully the Nets can bring in Deron’s former teammate AK-47 for this season to appease the star point guard. If the Nets can bring in a few good players for cheap, but more importantly short contracts, it will be a good off-season. The Nets need to keep financial flexibility in 2012, and Shawne’s cap-friendly contract does just that.
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