Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams has suffered from what was diagnosed today as a rib fracture in Sunday night’s game against the Miami Heat. Williams felt soreness on his side and went through a series of tests. Although initial tests came up negative, images today showed a left rib fracture. The star is now listed as “out indefinitely.” Physical ailments have plagued the once all-star since signing with the Nets in 2012. The injury could not have come at a worse time as trade rumors involving the star have surged. Nets re-signed Williams to a $98 million contract in hopes that he could become the face of the franchise. At the time, Williams was widely regarded as the best point guard in the league with averages of 21 points per game along with 9 assists. Injuries have caused the all-star’s numbers to decrease drastically pulling him out of any top-tier conversations.
Fans as well as the Nets management no longer believe Williams is worth their buck. The $98 million man has missed more than 50 games and hasn’t started the last two games. Coach Lionel Hollins wants Williams to “earn his starting position back.” Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has explicitly stated he is willing to give up the former all-star. Recently, the Sacramento Kings drew interest in Williams but declined because the Nets wanted too many of their pieces. Nets have also made offers to the Charlotte Hornets but they too cannot afford to offer many players for the guard. Not many other teams are willing to take on the stars enormous contract. Williams numbers have declined each of his last three seasons and now stands at a measly 13.9 points per game with 6 assists. There is always the possibility of waiving the former all-star but that would be a bold and expensive move. With the news of his injury, it’s sure that no teams will trade for the Brooklyn guard.
The Nets have failed to perform up to par with expectations. Williams was supposed to be the anchor for the team and carry them to at least an Eastern Conference finals appearance. Since re-signing the guard, Nets have made it as far as round two of the playoffs. Nets stand in just seventh place in standings as mid-season approaches, with great chances of making a first round exit. Williams has two more seasons left on his contract before he can opt out and become a free agent. The star has made no comments on trade rumors but they are sure to make a buzz in his ear. In his last two games, his numbers increased slightly to 15 points per game and almost 8 assists. Though they are far from his all-star numbers, Williams showed a spark in his game which was desperately needed if the Nets have any plans to make a splash in the playoffs. Now with the all-star gone again, Nets must devise a plan that doesn’t include him. There is no timetable for the star’s return as Nets only hope they can trade the star to revive Eastern Conference contention.
Commentary By Medina Parrilla