Feb 24, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT
Deron Williams wants everyone to know he’s not angry about being traded to the Nets. In fact, the idea of being a franchise cornerstone is kind of growing on him.
That doesn’t mean he’s signing an extension and staying, either. Mikhail Prokhorov, Billy King — you guys are on the clock. Build now. Improve this team fast.
At his first press conference since being traded to the Nets (for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first round picks), Williams was honest saying that he was stunned when he first was told the Jazz had traded him to the Nets.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous about going to a team that was 17-40,” Williams said.
But after talking with GM Billy King and others around the organization, he said he became excited. He said he gets what they are trying to do, what they are trying to build and said he was here to help out with that.
But the team is essentially getting a tryout. He is giving the franchise a year before deciding whether to sign an extension with them or become a free agent, he said.
“It all depends on how the next year goes, the collective bargaining agreement, the kind of moves we make and who is brought in,” Williams said
The CBA could play as big a role as anything — will there be a franchise tag? Will there be incentives for players who sign with the club that had their last contract (as is the case in the current deal, the “home” team can offer larger raises and more years).
But Williams is one of the ultra competitive guys in the NBA. Getting paid matters, but winning matters more. The Nets have to make moves in the next year that show Williams just how serious they are about building a contender around him.
So the Nets have their cornerstone, but they have to start building around it fast.
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