Deron Williams on Twitter
Weight: 205 lbs.
Date of Birth: June 26, 1984
Years Pro: 9
Before NBA: University of Illinois
Drafted: 3rd overall, 2005 NBA Draft
– Full Stats –
The Brooklyn Nets will once again hand the keys to their unquestioned floor general and leader, Deron Williams, as he enters his 10th year as a pro and his third full season with the franchise. But after confidence and durability issues, is Williams still capable of leading the Nets?
That’s the 98 million dollar question.
Williams has been the franchise face since the Nets acquired him from the Utah Jazz on February 11, 2011. At the time of the trade, Williams was an elite player, one of the best point guards in the league. Standing at 6’3” and over 200 pounds, Deron Williams possesses an array of skills in his arsenal that allow him to use his size and agility to beat defenders with a quick cross-over and then square up for a jump-shot. Early in his career as a member of the Jazz, Williams was able to attack the rim at will using his large frame against smaller defenders.
But there’s no denying the significant role injuries have played in his diminishing numbers. Williams has spent time on the injured list multiple times in the past three seasons due to an assortment of injuries ranging from his calf, knee, ribs, wrist, and his now-infamous ankles.
Williams has received countless cortisone shots, and underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy treatment designed to ease the discomfort in his ankles. In the offseason, Williams had surgery on both of his troublesome ankles, which Nets officials hope will bolster his production and confidence.
Williams’ long, winding road to redemption will ultimately depend on his ability to recover both physically and mentally. Williams must put behind him the disappointment of last season’s failed experiment, the win-now mentality, the tragic divorce from Jason Kidd, and his aching ankles. With Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce gone, and a new coaching staff led by Lionel Hollins set to take over head coaching responsibilities, Williams must be a major contributor on both sides of the ball.
Williams has attacked the basket less during his time with the Nets, instead he has relied heavily on shots from beyond the three point line. In 64 games played last season, Williams averaged 14.3 points per game with an effective field goal rating of 50.4 percent on three point attempts. Last season, 468 mid-range and three point attempts made up the bulk of Williams’ offense output.
When Williams isn’t looking for his shot, he relies on his court vision and passing abilities to weave the ball past defenders and through to his teammates. Williams averaged 6.1 assists per game last season with an assist rate of 32.8 percent; both were his lowest totals since his rookie season.
Is it too early to write off his return? Is Williams, now 30 years old, relegated to second-tier status in the NBA’s point guards? Or will this ankle surgery finally take?
The battle may be tough, but the Nets will ultimately go as far as Deron Williams can lead them.