What Would You Do?

Billy King is stuck.

Billy King
Today is July 2nd, and later this evening, he will be meeting with his potential point guard for the next five years, and he has to have a plan.

Deron Williams has said that he likes playing in Brooklyn. He likes King, he likes Avery Johnson. He likes the idea of being the face of a franchise, of opening a new arena, a new city. He likes living in New York. So does his wife, and his kids. He just wants one thing.

He wants to play on a good team.

Now enter Billy King, who has a hell of a lot on his plate.

He’s got Atlanta GM Danny Ferry on the phone and he is willing to trade six-time All-Star Joe Johnson and his infamous $90 million contract for not too steep a price, just some expirings and a draft pick.

King could pair Williams and Johnson and create a deadly backcourt. He’s already re-signed Wallace and will likely re-sign Lopez. If the Nets starting lineup includes those four guys, how bad of a team can they be? That’s a team that would put every Nets team since the Kidd-Carter-RJ days to shame.

But then, almost by sheer coincidence, Dwight Howard demands a trade to the Nets again on the same day. This of course comes after he previously demanded a trade, was reported as being “determined” to get to Brooklyn, and then made good on those demands by waiving his ETO and signing a one-year contract extension to stay in Orlando.

If King trades for Johnson, the dream of Dwight Howard and Deron Williams is dead and this leaves the GM with three options:

  • 1. The Brooklyn Nets trade their expiring contracts and a draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Joe Johnson. They pair him with Deron Williams and they move on from Dwight Howard. They force him to live with his decision of opting-in. They enter Brooklyn with a team that is pretty good, maybe even top-5 in the Eastern Conference good. They see what happens.

    Pros: The Nets are watchable.

    Cons: The Nets are stuck with a cap-killing contract for four seasons.

  • 2. The Brooklyn Nets pass on Joe Johnson and they put all their eggs back in the Dwight Howard basket. Everyone but #8 becomes available. Brook Lopez is available. Gerald Wallace is available, once he’s eligible for trade. MarShon Brooks is available. Every draft pick until 2032 is available. They force the Magic to accept a trade by making offer they can’t refuse. They do everything in their power to acquire a healthy Mr. Howard.

    Pros: The best point-big combo in NBA since Stockton-Malone.

    Cons: They fail, they enter Brooklyn with nothing. Or, they trade away all their assets, miss out on free agency and enter Brooklyn with two good players and ten D-leaguers.

  • 3. They wait. They sign players to one-year-deals. They postpone the “grand Brooklyn entry” until next year. They trust that Dwight Howard will become a free agent and they trust that he will come to them with open arms. They promise Deron Williams that if he is patient for one of his five Nets-contract years, good things will come. They stall.

    Pros: The best point-big combo in NBA since Stockton-Malone.

    Cons: Another year of unwatchable basketball, an anticlimactic entrance to the Barclays Center, grumpy D-Will and the very real chance that Dwight Howard changes his mind again.

Close your eyes and imagine that you are Billy King. You are sitting in your office and Deron Williams has just walked through your door. He has just left a very impressive meeting with the Dallas Mavericks and you need to nail this meeting for him to agree to come back. You’ve just got out of a meeting with Steve Nash and he seems into Brooklyn, but the clock is ticking. There has to be a decision.

What would you do?

Share your answer in the comments and in the poll on the right sidebar.