Monday Morning Mailbag

I’m going to attempt to answer some of your questions based on what’s been floating around in the news, and just my pure gut instinct. So I guess take this with a grain of salt!

Anyway, there wasn’t a ton of questions to sift through, but what did come through had a lot to do with the Carmelo Anthony trade and its fallout (shocker there).

In the comments section, bgalella asked about the status of the Devin Harris-Avery Johnson relationship.

Is it damaged? What will it take to be fixed?

I think there is some ego-bruising involved here. It’s also worth considering how stable their relationship was/is in the first place. Yes, Harris openly campaigned for Avery Johnson to be head coach and Avery has publicly said all the right things about his point guard, but there definitely was so head-butting going on back with they were together in Dallas. Avery is a BIG personality, probably one of the biggest personalities the Nets have ever had as a head coach, so to expect him to have an ongoing camaraderie with his star players without hiccups is unrealistic. What matters is the results. If Devin responds to Johnson’s coaching and actually puts some effort on the defensive end this year, I don’t think it actually matters how chummy they are. Harris also has to understand that regardless of how he lobbied for Avery for head coach, as a player, he’s still a depressed asset after his disappointing season last year – so he’s going to be mentioned in trade talks. That’s the NBA for you. If he doesn’t like it, then he should return to being the out of his mind player who was seemingly sticking it to Dallas every night two seasons ago after trading him.

Also in the comments section, kenyada has a two-part question:

If we don’t trade for Carmelo during the season before the deadline, do you think we have a chance to get him if he hits the free agent market ? And do you think Terrence Williams will be our starting point guard one day?

I think if Carmelo hits the free agency market this summer, he’s a Knick. I have to believe that a major factor playing into the Nets aggressive pursuit of ‘Melo is that the Nets front office knows this. With a move to Brooklyn expected to go down in NY, there’s a battle beginning for the hearts and minds of NYC fans. The Knicks have sold their fanbase on the idea of playing meaningless games the past few seasons for the opportunity to have the cap and roster space to acquire some marquee players. With LeBron James going to Miami and thwarting the first part of that plan, the Nets acquiring ‘Melo could be enough to permanently demoralize some Knicks fans. While I think the Nets will be initially successful in Brooklyn, they still need to develop a long-term identity that translates into a loyal fanbase. Evolving into the most entertaining basketball team in city limits is a way to do that. However, unless they really surprise some people and become an eastern conference contender, the way Oklahoma City did last year, I don’t think the Nets, as currently constructed, are attractive enough to players like ‘Melo inthe open market.

As for part two of your question – I personally have doubts about TWill as a PG. I know others who write and comment for this site will disagree with me, but I don’t think Williams is an apt enough defender to stay with most NBA point guards. Yes, he’s a good ballhander and passer with freakish agility and strength, but in a playoff scenario, do you really expect him to be able to stay with Rajon Rondo or Chris Paul defensively? I just don’t see it, and until I do, I can’t see TWill as an actual point guard, but more of a point forward a la Scottie Pippen.