In an article for Grandland.com, the author “Carles” recently wrote many negative comments about Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Billy King, and the way the Brooklyn Nets handled their big offseason. You can read the full article here. According to Carles, Williams is a selfish superstar who wanted out of a not-so-terrible situation in Utah and who got a great coach, Jerry Sloan, fired. Carles also says that Joe Johnson’s swagger is fake and a first round playoff exit is coming for Brooklyn. He thinks that the Nets should have found their own superstar in the draft and built through that player and became an exciting young team like the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I could not disagree more with this Carles fellow. First of all, he is completely mistaken about Deron Williams. Even though Deron probably would not have re-signed with Utah if they had never traded him, he did not demand a trade (like Carmelo Anthony) and he did not get Jerry Sloan fired (even Sloan himself admits this). Additionally, Williams has never had any problems at all with any other coaches whether it be in college or the NBA. Avery Johnson is even one of his best friends and he recently invited Avery to his birthday dinner. The reason that Deron wanted to leave Utah was because he was not going to be able to convince another star player to come to Utah to help him win a championship. I’m sorry Jazz fans, but superstars in the NBA today do not want to live in Utah.
About Joe Johnson, it is true that he has never made it past the second round of the playoffs and has not proven he could be the leader of a team. However, in Atlanta, JJ was the go-to guy and #1 option. Now, playing with Deron, Johnson will move into the #2 role and have less pressure on him. Also, Deron is one of the best passers in the game and will be able to get Johnson more open looks. I believe that Johnson’s swagger is just a device used to show that the Nets are a confident team and a team that New Yorkers and Brooklynites should root for.
About Billy King and how the Nets built through free agency instead of the draft, Carles is also wrong. Sure, every team would like to be the Oklahoma City Thunder, but that is easier said than done. There is a reason there is only one team that built through the draft like OKC, while there are many teams that attempted to build through the draft that ended up like the Minnesota Timberwolves or Sacramento Kings. Building through the draft is very hard to do and there is some luck involved. In 2010 when the Nets went into the draft lottery with the worst record and the chance of getting John Wall, building through the draft was a good option. But instead, after getting Derrick Favors, a guy who will never be a superstar and probably not even an all-star, the Nets had to find another way to put together a competitive roster. When they missed out on Anthony Davis last season, they had no choice but to build through free agency.
The Nets have very quickly assembled a competitive team that can finish as high as second in the east next season. They will likely top their win total from the last 2 seasons combined. They will have more fans than they ever had in New Jersey and will sell out the Barclays Center every night. If that’s not a successful offseason, I don’t know what is.