Last season, after they traded a whole lot of stuff for Deron Williams, the New Jersey Nets when a very Nets 4-8 with the All-Star point guard at the helm. Considering they won 24 games on the year, that 33 percent win rate was an improvement. Such is the life for the Nets, who have 36 combined wins in the past two seasons. At this point, the best thing you can say about them is that they aren’t the Timberwolves.
But the Nets are a rebuilding team, so some losses here and there and then there again isn’t that big of a deal. Everybody knows that in the NBA, you either want to be really bad or really good. Being stuck in the middle isn’t as cool as Stealers Wheel makes it sound. Sometimes, losing is the right play.
Only bad part for the Nets is, doing that makes Deron Williams super angry. From the New York Daily News:
The Nets, as currently assembled, aren’t prepared to satisfy Williams’ hunger for victory. Unless Dwight Howard walks through the practice facility doors before the season starts, Williams’ first full month with the Nets figures to be a nasty lesson in the franchise’s mostly inauspicious history.
“You don’t think I’ve thought about that?” Williams cut off the question.
So how would he handle losing?
“I don’t know. You guys are not going to like me, I know that. I get grumpy when I lose.”
Well this is quite the precarious situation for the New Jersey Nets. They had to make the trade for Deron Williams because, as you saw with every big free agent last summer, blue-chippers aren’t dying to join a franchise as historically terrible as the Nets. So if they want a superstar, a trade is how it had to happen.
But trading for Williams stripped the Nets of all their most valuable assets and made their free agent haul of terrible guys with huge contracts seem even worse. Now they’re in a position where they have a bad team and are having trouble swinging a trade for Dwight Howard because all their young guys and future first rounders are on the Jazz. It’s a vicious cycle.
Now they have to figure out a way to win games before Deron bolts, lest they have traded three excellent lottery selections for a season-and-a-quarter of a great point guard with a terrible haircut. And, of course, all of this comes right before they move to Brooklyn, where it will be pretty important that the Nets have a franchise player who can help them compete with the well-established Knicks for the hearts and minds of New Yorkers.
Basically, it’s Dwight Howard or starting from scratch yet again. Fun times.