Can Deron Williams make it through the season?

Deron WilliamsDeron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets hasn’t been his usual self in preseason action, but encouraged by the results he obtained by a cortisone shot.

Williams has been bothered by tendinitis in his ankle and the Nets’ star may need postseason surgery to clean it up.

“Just walking down the street it would ache,” said Williams, who received the shot Thursday. “There were a lot of missed layups because I just didn’t have that explosion.

“I should be good now.”

According to the NY Daily News the inflammation in his ankle started during the Olympics.

“It was hurting really bad in the Olympics, swelled up in the Olympics. So, I had to get on some anti-inflammatory (pills) and we’ve been just trying to strengthen it and get it loose,” Williams said. “But it just seems like throughout the course of a game, it never gets loose.

“I thought it was from old age,” he added. “I couldn’t jump off my left leg. I can’t even dunk off of one leg, so I went in and got an MRI and it showed the inflammation. It was good to get the shot and now it already feels better.”

How many cortisone shot’s will he need to avoid the pain and frustration his ankle will cause this season?

Obviously, this is not a good sign for Williams who could end up sitting out the rest of the season at some point.

Deron Williams hated the Lakers, could this hurt their chances?

Deron WilliamsDeron Williams was at the L.A. Convention Center on promoting his new video game “NBA Baller Beats” which features him on the cover and will be released in September. As reporters started asking questions the truth about his feelings toward the Los Angeles Lakers came out.

According to the LA Times, “I used to hate them. They pushed us out of the playoffs three years in a row,” Williams said of the Lakers, referring to when they beat Williams’  Utah Jazz each postseason from 2008 through 2010.

The Lakers would like nothing better than replacing Ramon Sessions, who struggled averaging only 6.8 points on 35.3% shooting in the Western Conference semifinals with New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams.

The problem…the Lakers don’t have the cash to sign him and he knows it.

“I know they don’t have any money to just go out and sign me,” Williams said. “It’ll have to be some kind of deal.”

Deron’s 21 points per game were ranked third among the NBA’s guards and his 8.8 assists could be helpful to Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.

In essence it would give the Lakers another big three, but they would have to remove Pau Gasol from the equation. They owe him $38.3 million over the next two years and have committed $78.4 million to only seven players next season.

Pau Gasol for Deron Williams, crazy but possible

Pau GasolThe Los Angeles Lakers always seem to be in the middle of every trade rumor. Ever since their season ended, the rumors have been coming fast and furious. Most of them have been ridiculous but one has surfaced that actually makes sense.

ESPN’s John Hollinger discussed the possibility of the Brooklyn Nets doing a sign-and-trade deal that would send Deron Williams to the Lakers for Pau Gasol.

After two disappointing post seasons, Gasol may not have the trade value he once had, but he is still one of the most skilled big men in the league and would fit nicely with Brook Lopez. Williams has already stated that if the Nets don’t get Dwight Howard, he’s gone so they might as well try to get something for him. Read more here…

NBA rumor mill: Mavericks want to sign Howard and Williams

Dwight HowardAccording to multiple sources, within inner NBA Circles GM’s have been discussing the possibility of the Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks signing both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard this off season.

Dwight Howard has expressed publicly that the Maverick’s are one of the teams that he would like to play for if the Orlando Magic were to trade him during the season. With the trade deadline approaching, this seems more and more unlikely.

The Mavericks have plenty of cap room next season as Jason Terry, Lamar Odom, Jason Kidd, Brian Cardinal, Delonte West, and Brandon Wright are in the final year of their contracts. Additionally, Vince Carter does not count.

Shedding these contracts will save the Mavericks about $31 million dollars. Signing both Howard, Williams, 2012 draft picks, and enough players to fill out a roster will surely put the Maverick over the cap, but billionaire Mark Cuban hasn’t seemed to let this bother him in the past.

If these NBA rumors are true, look for the Mavericks to make a huge splash in free agency. Signing Howard and Williams would certainly make the Mavericks favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2012; who wouldn’t love a Heat Mavericks rematch?

Sixers Lack a True Superstar

Lou WilliamsEarlier this week Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets dominated the fourth quarter and overtime against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Williams is a superstar in the NBA, and proved it on Wednesday by single-handedly taking over the game and winning it for his team. As the former Illinois star drained clutch bucket after bucket I couldn’t help but look over at the Sixers bench and wonder where the response was.

“Deron Williams, to say the least, was absolutely sensational tonight,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins. “That was the best performance we’ve seen from a guard this year. He was not going to let them lose that game, big shot after big shot.”

And then it hit me, the Sixers don’t have a guy like that. They simply don’t have a superstar, a bona-fide scoring option every time down the court.

Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Jodie Meeks and Evan Turner don’t strike fear in opponents. They’re nice players and play well collectively, but they’re all second options. Elton Brand once was, but he is a veteran past his prime and on the decline now.

When crunch time rolls around, the Sixers’ threat is Lou Williams. Say that to yourself again. It doesn’t sound right because it shouldn’t. Sure he is clutch in some respect, he did drill a few three-pointers to try and put the Nets away, only to be answered by Williams time and time again.

I guess what the point of this is, is well, Deron Williams is really, really good. On top of that it begs the question, does a team need a superstar like a Deron Williams to be an elite team? Not that the Nets are elite, because they clearly are not, but look at other teams like the Clippers who have been transformed in just a superstar trade from a laughing stock to a title contender.

Look across the NBA landscape, the teams that win have that guy, you know the one who drops 30+ on any given night. Chicago has Derrick Rose, and is first in the East. Miami has, well, you know those guys and are second in the East. Out West, Oklahoma City has Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Those are the types of players who take a team to the next level. The Sixers haven’t had one of those guys since Allen Iverson left the first time. And think about when they had him, a finals appearance and butts in the seats every single game. The Sixers are second to last in home attendance this season by the way.

Philadelphia needs a superstar both on and off the court. Imagine just for a second if you added a say, a Dwyane Wade to the Sixers’ current lineup? Do Jrue Holiday, Wade, Turner/Iguodala, Band and Hawes scare you now?

Sure it costs pieces to get superstars, but do you think the Clippers have buyers remorse so far with their place in front of the Lakers out West? I don’t think so. The Hornets, who gave up the superstar, are 3-15 and will probably last another year before being relocated by the league. Still think a star matters?

It sounds stupid, but in the modern NBA, you need more than just a team. You need a team that has that guy, the guy that teams look over after a game and say “He did what?”

Just like I said as I watched Deron Williams sink the Sixers on Wednesday night.

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