Remember when all the talk was about who was better: Chris Paul or Deron Williams? Me neither. Those days are further gone than the pizza crusts behind Franny’s after me and the boys get our beaks on ’em.
The main label that I’ve heard placed on Deron Williams since he arrived in Brooklyn via New Jersey is “underachiever.” I’ve got some other choice labels I could use, though I am fairly confident they won’t make it into this genteel publication (hey editors, how about a raise and I’ll tone it down with the fighting and the drinking? Didn’t think so). What about this: “underachiever” is more generous than Daddy Warbucks, and D-Will has none of the charm of Annie. Put another way, the guy’s a bum.
So when I heard the rumors about our Nets trading Williams to Sacramento, it was music to my hidden bird-ears. Sacramento, of the ever-popular 4-on-5 defensive scheme, has reportedly showed interest in Williams. If there’s a team dumb enough to shell out $63 million for a guy with bad ankles, bad knees, and bad calves whose last solid game was in 2010, it’s definitely the Sacramento Kings.
And we might even get some players in return. That’d be great and all, but I would trade this guy for a bag of peanuts any day. Then again, I’d trade pretty much anything for a bag of peanuts.
Anyway, word around the rafters is that the Kings would send Darren Collison, Derrick Williams, Jason Thompson and Nik Stauskas for the dubious privilege of taking on our Williams. As with most NBA trades, the Kings would send a veritable pu-pu platter of guys in exchange for the “star” in the deal. But as I’m looking at these guys, I’m thinking, “Give me Collison over D-Will.”
Collison is three years younger, doesn’t have a medical record that unfurls like a scroll, and comes at a fraction of the cost. The other guys ain’t half-bad either.
Okay, Derrick Williams, the former number-two draft pick, looks like a bust so far. He was lousy in Minnesota, and just above lousy in Sacramento, but he’s only 23. He could still be a contributor in the right environment. Could the big city lights do it for him? If not, he’s a free agent after the season, so who cares? Get him outta here and save more money to throw at Durant in a couple years.
Jason Thompson is exactly as his name indicates, perfectly average. He can rebound a little bit, score close to the basket, block a shot here and there, hustle. Big whoop.
Nik Stauskas, the Kings’ 2014 first-round pick out of Michigan, is a smooth shooting swing-man who hasn’t lived up to early expectations. Probably because he can’t defend his own shadow. I could score on this kid and I haven’t anywhere near my peak since the summer of ’02, when I was making it rain threes on the court — and 40s down my throat — in Sunset Park. Regardless, he can still shoot, and could give the slow-dying offense the kick in the ass it needs.
There’s no way the Kings give up all that mediocrity just to attract a nearly washed-up big name. Vivek Ranadive and Pete D’Alessandro are some strange birds, but they aren’t that crazy. They’ll want another piece. The young guns? Can’t see it. Alan Anderson? Sergey Karasev? Sure, why not?
This much I know. The D-Will experiment hasn’t worked out, so it’s time Nets management eats the s--- sandwich it has made for itself and moves on. With no worthwhile draft picks until 2019, the bosses can’t exactly start over, but they can save some money and keep the team about as good as it currently is. Which is to say, not very.
And why stop at D-Will? I hear the Cleveland Lebrons need a big man. Injury-riddled Brook Lopez, anyone? If this team stunk anymore I’d swear the towels in the locker-room were fermenting.
Speaking of which: spare a buck for a beer?