In Dave D’s latest article, he briefly glosses over something that I find really interesting:
For starters, we’d consider sending Terrence Williams to Springfield for a few weeks. He’s not getting much out of being here, and everyone can see that. He doesn’t play much anymore — 8.4 mpg this month, with no discernible contribution across the board — and maybe a short vacation convinces him to start playing a team game again, which he hasn’t shown much interest in doing lately.
The D-League is there for a reason. And as long as there’s roster space for a call-up who will bust his tail for a chance to play a few weeks in the NBA, you might as well use it.
At the beginning of the year, I would have scoffed at this. Not only because I was (still am) one of his biggest supporters, but also because I saw him playing a very big role on the team at this point in the year. Instead Terrence Williams has logged just 78 minutes in 9 games this month. Let’s look at the pros and cons of sending Terrence down:
This is the only problem I can see happening. Remember the whole twitter scandal? Well, that stemmed from Williams seeing his minutes go down. Imagine the type of reaction he could (I put could here because by all accounts, Terrence has been on his best behavior since the incident where he asked the media to stop talking to him) have if he gets sent down to the D-League?
The Nets could have another Sean Williams situation on their hands. If you don’t remember what happened when Sean Williams was sent down, let me remind you:
It is rare to see first rounders going down to the D-League so all eyes were on Williams, and while he played well (9.8 PPG 3.9 BPG 7.5 RPG in 8 games) he continued to cause problems. The breaking point was at the D-League Showcase (where all of the league’s teams play each other in a “carnival” format – scouts and personnel from every pro team show up to this) in January. During the showcase, Williams got two technical fouls and an ejection in one game and fouled out of another after only 28 minutes. Word has it that Williams was facing suspension by the 14ers, and they basically forced the Nets to take Williams back. If the 14ers didn’t fold, this year would be interesting in terms of D-League affiliate relations.
If Terrence Williams lashes back in reaction to his D-League demotion, it would not only look bad from a PR standpoint, but the Nets could really sever their ties with another D-League team and probably with the league as a whole.
Expands Who Could Get Called Up
Right now, the Nets have 1 roster spot open as they have 14 players under contract. My guess on why they haven’t done anything with that spot yet is because they are probably trying to find a big man in the D-League. The D-League is lacking in true quality big men (we will look at this more on Monday), and with Terrence Williams still on the NBA roster, the Nets will be limited to looking at this small pool of players. This is because with Williams on the active roster, there are way too many wings, and it would be silly to call one of them up (even though wing-men are the strength of the D-League in my opinion).
Even though Terrence Williams still counts against the roster count (he becomes 1 of the 3 inactives), his send down will open up some playing time for a more developed scoring wing (or even a three point threat) from the D-League. If the call-up doesn’t work out (the call-up will most likely get a 10-day contract) we can bring Terrence back, if it does work out, the Nets have another scoring option.
Terrence Williams’ Development
If Terrence Williams reacts positively to the send down, he will be greeted with minutes, and a lot of them. Terrence Williams will be getting game time experience where he will be able to learn the speed of the game. He will also be able to work on his shot down there, since he should be able to use the call-down as a chance to work on his weaknesses during in game situations.
In addition to the minutes, Terrence Williams will most likely get sent down to one of the better teachers in the D-League, Dee Brown. I was able to talk to Dee Brown before the season started and we talked about how his experiences as a player and as the owner of EDGE basketball will help him in the D-League (this being his first year):
NAS: How can your NBA experience help when dealing with players trying to make the NBA themselves?
Dee Brown: I can speak on 12 years of hands on playing experience in the NBA on the do’s and don’ts of getting to the NBA and most importantly staying when you get there. I’ve played with great players and for great coaches so I’ve got tons experience on how to communicate with all levels. I’ve also been in the front office at different capacities from Director of Player Development to Community Ambassador. So I know what NBA Execs look for and expect from their players on and off the court.
NAS: You are CEO of the EDGE Basketball, LLC, and have shown an interest in developing players. Is that why you have decided to make the transition to the D-League? So you can both coach and help develop young talent?
Dee Brown: I’ve owned EDGE basketball for 4 years and have been training every level of player from talented middle school players to NBA players like Grant Hill, Drew Gooden, Chucky Atkins and Deshawn Stevenson. The most important thing to me is developing young and even experience players. I’ve been doing that since I retired and always felt like a coach on the floor or leader in the locker room when I was a player. That’s why the D-League excites me. My job is to make these players better and put them in a situation on the court to succeed and showcase their respective talents all in the concepts of winning and competing.
Doesn’t that make you think he will be the perfect fit to help Terrence Williams develop properly? I do, and in my opinion the Nets really need to seriously consider sending Terrence Williams down, and if it does happen, my guess is that Dee Brown was a factor in that decision.