Dear Billy King,

I went to bed last night pretty nervous for this evenings lottery all because of one word: probably.

Right now, your team has a 7.6% chance at a #1 pick, and a 41.38% chance at a #6 pick, which means the Nets will probably end up at #6. That’s not me being pessimistic, that is fact.

The Nets will probably get the sixth pick in the draft, which means they probably won’t have a first-round draft pick.

No first round draft pick means no top-three selection, which means you probably won’t be able to finish a Dwight Howard deal. Too many teams have too much to offer.

No Dwight Howard means you probably won’t be able to keep Deron Williams.

Those are the thoughts that swirled in my head last night, as I tried to get some pre-lottery shut-eye. And even despite the news that broke today, those things are still true.

So imagine my surprise when I wake up to the Woj text, that implied your job is nothing more than a title, and instead, a 27-year-old is running your team.

Apparently, the situation at hand here is that your friend Deron Williams doesn’t want any part of you, Billy. He doesn’t respect the hard work you’ve done for the Nets. Those late night talking sessions that take place in your office, the daily lunch dates, remember those? Yeah, it turns out they don’t mean much to Deron Williams.

Why? Because he doesn’t want to win. He just wants to play with Dwight Howard.

Deron Williams has had the world thrown at him. He has been marketed as the face of a brand new franchise in the biggest sports market in the world. He has walked down the streets of New York City and seen his face on billboards, with an S on his chest. He has been allowed to make executive decisions, Billy. You’ve let him do that. Mehmet Okur? DeShawn Stevenson? Andre Emmett? Gerald Wallace? I’m sure you had your say in those moves. But, c’mon, Billy. We all know.

So, I guess, my question is, what did you expect? You gave him too much power. You let him do a little too much. And now he wants a little more.

You’ve let him run the team, and now he is paying you back by putting a trade tag on the best big prospect since Mr. Howard himself. Here you are, Billy, with the potential of building a team on youth and depth and talent, a team who can stay together and play together for a long, long time. Kind of like the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA Finals favorites who haven’t lost since April 11th.

And for whatever reason, Deron Williams isn’t okay with that. Deron Williams, who wants a little more than the world.

Here is the worst part about this, Billy. And maybe I’m wrong, and if I am, please tell me, tell us, so I can shut up. But, I think you would do the trade. You would give up Anthony Davis for Dwight Howard for the sole reason of retaining Deron Williams. You might even give up Davis and Brook Lopez for the sole reason of retaining Deron Williams.

You put the team in this mess in the first place by giving away your draft pick that would have gotten the Nets Dwight Howard, who inevitably regrets his opt-in, for Gerald Wallace. For the sole reason of retaining Deron Williams.

Just think. If you hadn’t traded for three weeks of Gerald Wallace in the first place, you may have already gotten Dwight Howard. The #6 pick is good enough, but now Brooklyn doesn’t have it. Portland does.

Then there is this whole issue of Dwight Howard’s back, a major, major injury for a big man, an injury I think everyone is overlooking. And do we even know for a fact that Dwight Howard even wants to be in Brooklyn? Last I checked, he was opted in to Orlando, preaching loyalty.

Let’s say the Nets miraculously end up with picks two or three. By all means, flip that pick for Dwight Howard. Go right ahead, do it tonight for all I care. No point in waiting. But if you get that #1 pick, if the ping-pong balls somehow give the Nets Anthony Davis and Deron Williams wants no part of joining a front court of Lopez, Davis, a back court of Brooks, Wallace, Green, then let him walk. Swing a trade for Kendall Marshall. You are the one who is always preaching about how you can “buy” a pick. (Okay, okay, now I’m reaching a little bit.)

I’ll leave you with this: tonight, there is a 25% chance I will send out an 8:30 P.M. tweet hailing you as a genius.

But there is a 75% chance I won’t.


Chris Hooker