Deron Williams helped Brooklyn Nets say No to Dwight Howard
Prior to free agency, and well before Deron Williams signed a 5-year extension, worth $98.7 million with the team, the point guard warned Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King against waiting too long on a prospective Dwight Howard trade.
"One thing Deron did say to me, he said, 'Please, just don't wait on Dwight. We can't wait and not have a team,'" stated Billy King on Wednesday.
It is undeniable that the NBA’s premier center’s addition to the roster would have aided in establishing a pick and roll combination involving Dwight Howard and Deron Williams. However, the Deron Williams emerged as a more mature voice for the Brooklyn Nets, expressing fear that vying for Dwight Howard will compromise the team’s roster building process.
“The team of Brooklyn is bigger than one person,” reflected Billy King.
Dwight Howard had made it known to the Orlando Magic during the summers that he was interested in being traded to the Brooklyn Nets. However, that deal never materialized as Dwight Howard was shipped off to the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster trade later during the offseason.
At one point, the Brooklyn Nets were so eager to acquire Dwight Howard that Bill King was offering center Brook Lopez, power forward Kris Humphries, shooting guard MarShon Brooks and a bunch of future first round draft picks in a potential trade with Orlando Magic.
However, cooler minds prevailed as Billy King instead decided to retain the Brooklyn Nets’ key pieces Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez, and small forward Gerald Wallace in a $330 million move to surround Deron Williams with a complementary lineup.
The Brooklyn Nets also orchestrated a trade for Atlanta Hawks’ star shooting guard Joe Johnson, by claiming accountability for the $90 million remaining on his previous contract.
Overall, the Brooklyn Nets revamped the roster by bringing in nine new players.
“I owed it to the organization, I owed it to our fans, I owed it to Deron and the players that we have to build for Brooklyn,” said Billy Kelly, “and we went forward and built our team."
But, while the Brooklyn Nets are cozying up to their new fate with the roster and Deron Williams, they face tough competition from another title contender emerging out of the East. The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of star power with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace, and won’t be going down quietly.