Thursday, January 6, 2011
T'WILL WE MEET AGAIN
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Nets’ shooting forward Terrence Williams possesses a world of talent but his lack of commitment to the organization forced New Jersey’s hand as they have agreed in principle to ship out their former #11 pick in the 2009 draft.
Williams caught the ire of Avery Johnson and the Nets coaching staff when he arrived late to practices and was dismissed from a game earlier in the season for failing to comply with team policy. New Jersey demoted Terrence to their D-league affiliate, the Springfield Armory, sending a clear message that they meant business. In three games with the Armory, Williams averaged a triple double, with his most important interaction not coming with head coach Avery Johnson or general manager Billy King but 13 year old Carlos Gonzalez Jr., a D-league ball boy. The young buck questioned Williams’ attitude and dedication to the team, while making light of the fact that people would die to play in the NBA and to value his opportunity.
The stern talk aimed at inspiring Terrence to get his act together and re-dedicate himself to the game of basketball has not translated on the court. Williams’ relationship with the coaching staff appears irreparable as he saw limited action against the Lakers this past Sunday and was deactivated prior to New Jersey’s game with Philadelphia Tuesday night.
Terrence (or T.Will as he is known by fans and teammates) will join the Rockets in a three team deal involving the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. In exchange for Williams, New Jersey receives Lakers’ shooting guard Sasha Vujacic, Los Angeles’ 2011 first round draft pick, along with Houston’s 2012 first round draft pick. Vujacic will reunite with former Lakers teammate Jordan Farmar hoping to bring championship pedigree and a winning attitude to a Nets squad mired in an eight game losing streak. The Lakers receive journeyman power forward Joe Smith from New Jersey, providing them with a veteran presence and much needed depth to their front court. Anticipating Terrence Williams’ addition to their squad, Houston has dealt second year guard Jermaine Taylor to Sacramento for a future second-round pick. All the pieces are in place but the deal cannot be finalized yet as New Jersey’s Joe Smith is an offseason signee with NBA rules prohibiting him being traded until December 15th.
A change of scenery may provide Terrence Williams the opportunity to flourish and refine his skills, or Houston may have a problem. The outcome remains to be seen but the Nets are content with their compensation in the deal landing a pure shooter and pesky defender in Sasha Vujacic, along with 2011 and 2012 first-round draft choices. New Jersey has stockpiled draft picks earning five first-round selections over the next two seasons. The Nets are in prime position to fill their roster with young talent via the draft or opt to employ their picks as valuable trading chips to score a marquee player. General Manager Billy King has indicated that his club will continue to actively pursue trades as the front office tries to find the right mix of players to produce a winning formula.