Deron Williams’ Days as an NBA Star Are Officially Over

The Brooklyn Nets can stop waiting now.

For three-plus seasons, they have been hoping that Deron Williams could serve as their franchise face and help the organization regain some relevance.

With his 30th birthday behind him, more surgical attention paid to his problematic ankles and his production trapped in a downward spiral, he simply is no longer suited for such a prominent role or capable of carrying that type of responsibility.

There has been too much damage done to even wish for the kind of repair he would need to reclaim his spot among the NBA elites. That ship has sailed, and nothing can bring it back to harbor.

That isn’t a criticism; it’s an observation.

When is the last time his stat sheet remotely resembled that of a full-fledged superstar? Certainly not last season, when his scoring (14.3) and assists (6.1) dropped to their lowest levels since his rookie year of 2005-06. He topped 18 points and seven assists the season prior, but so did John Wall—a year before his first All-Star ticket was punched.

In 2011-12, Williams averaged 21 points and 8.7 assists, but he shot just 40.7 percent from the field and led the league with four turnovers a night.

The 2010-11 campaign was probably the last time he enjoyed an elite standing (20.1 points and 10.3 assists), although that might have been stripped during his dreadful 12-game showing for the then-New Jersey Nets after a midseason trade (15 points on 34.9 percent shooting).

The fact that his door to All-Star status is closed now isn’t surprising. If anything astonishing is happening here, it’s that we held that door open for him for this long.

Maybe that was our natural reaction since we—as in the basketball world, not Nets fans—had seen greatness from him before.

Williams never passed 2005 draft classmate Chris Paul in the point guard hierarchy, but he came as close as any floor general whose tenure overlapped that of the Los Angeles Clippers‘ signal-caller. Williams, the third selection, was taken in front of Paul (fourth overall). And through their first five seasons in the league, the pair remained on relatively equal planes.

Paul had the slight edge, but the gap was slim enough for “Paul or Williams?” debates to blanket the NBA landscape.

Suffice it to say those subjective arguments have been objectively finished for a while.

“He has dropped a long, long way since then, in part because of injuries and in part because … well, no one is sure,” Sporting News’ Sean Deveney wrote of Williams. “Conditioning? Coaching? Wear and tear?”

Let’s start with Williams’ injuries because they are both the easiest way to explain his struggles and the greatest source of optimism for a potential comeback.

Physically, he hasn’t been himself for some time. His ankle problems date back to the 2012 Olympics, and they have required numerous cortisone shots and other injections. He missed 18 games last season and came off the bench in six others—the first time since his rookie year he was used in a reserve role.

He underwent surgery on both ankles in May, and, according to Williams, that helped put the issue behind him. Here’s what he told Newsday‘s Roderick Boone:

When you can’t run, can’t jump, it’s hard to play basketball, especially in this league. The only thing I wish is I would’ve got surgery earlier, but what can you do? I’m ready to go now and excited about the season.

New Nets coach Lionel Hollins has apparently heard what he needed to hear in order to hand over his offense’s keys to Williams.

“He’s a point guard. He’s our point guard,” Hollins told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. ” … He’s going to be the primary ball-handler.”

Problem solved, right? Well, not exactly.

For one, Williams needs to prove he is healthy over the course of a full 82-game season.

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry needed two surgeries to put his ankle problems behind him, and Dubs fans still cringe whenever he so much as rolls one of them. The sharpshooter was also only 24 the last time he went under the knife, so Williams’ age could complicate his recovery.

Even if he gets back to full strength, he can’t morph back into the player he was. That one has been lost to the history books:

Besides, it’s not as if all of his struggles can be attributed to his ankle problems. He blamed something else entirely when his shooting percentages dipped far below the realm of respectability in 2012-13.

“I didn’t have the talent around me I did there,” Williams told reporters in December 2012 while admitting he wasn’t the same player he had been with the Utah Jazz. “Their system was a great system for my style of play. I am a system player.”

Will Hollins, Williams’ fourth different coach with the Nets, put the point guard back in the system he apparently needs to thrive?

During four full seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, Hollins’ team never finished higher than 13th in offensive efficiency, and the success it did enjoy on that side of the floor started with twin towers Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.

Let’s assume that Williams is both healthy and part of an offense that caters to his strengths. That still wouldn’t be enough to automatically launch him into All-Star orbit.

His physical problems, as damaging as they were, never were as threatening as the mental wounds they helped create.

Confidence is such a critical part of this profession, and Williams’ might be shot:

Even worse, the Nets’ point guard isn’t the only one who can see the low reading on his confidence meter, as Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Ballard explained:

Gotham Chopra, the director of ‘Kobe Bryant’s Muse’, an upcoming documentary on Bryant, told a story about being with Kobe and watching the Nets and the Heat play. Recounts Chopra, “Deron Williams went like 0-for-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?’ Kobe was like, ‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9.  0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.’”

There are procedures for addressing Williams’ ankle woes, strategies for helping him adapt to another new offensive system.

But no one can help him restore his confidence. That change can come only from within, and none of the other progress made this summer will have any impact without it.

He has to get back to feeling like he is ‘The Man’ on the team again,” wrote ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “That’s going to take time.”

And it’s not as if 30-year-olds are sitting on an abundance of time in this league.

There are reasons to hope he can clean up his production, but his ceiling stops well short of All-Star recognition. The position has passed him by.

Six different point guards were selected for the 2014 midseason classic: Paul, Curry, Kyrie Irving, Wall, Tony Parker and Damian Lillard.

Countless others could snag a spot this coming February, including Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Goran Dragic, Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Ty Lawson and Jrue Holiday.

Williams won’t jump ahead of those players or even clear enough of them to earn All-Star honors for the first time since 2012. He could have some good years in his future still but nothing like the great ones in his past.

This is reality for the Nets.

Exorbitant payroll aside, this is a team that will draw its strength from its numbers, not elite-level talent at the top. Williams will play a pivotal role in their success, but so will Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Garnett, Jarrett Jack, Mason Plumlee and the rest of this roster.

For Brooklyn, Williams is one of many pieces needed to make that puzzle fit. As long as he’s part of the solution and not the problem, the franchise should take what it can get from its fallen star.

 

Unless otherwise noted, statistics used courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com.

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Deron Williams: Surprised by Jason Kidd’s Exit, Hasn’t Spoken to Him Since

After a rough start to his coaching career, Jason Kidd was finally getting the hang of things, turning the Brooklyn Nets into a playoff threat by season’s end. And then left for the Milwaukee Bucks. It appears as though Deron Williams was just as shocked as we were by his departure. According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, D.Will was “surprised” by Kidd’s Nets exit and hasn’t talked to him since. At his charity Dodgeball event, Deron Williams said he’s surprised w/ Kidd’s departure. Deron says he hasn’t spoken w/ Kidd since departure — Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) September 15, 2014 Kidd served as a mentor for Williams over the years and was supposed to help the point guard reclaim his franchise ability. The post Deron Williams: Surprised by Jason Kidd’s Exit, Hasn’t Spoken to Him Since appeared first on Basketball Bicker.

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Deron Williams or Rajon Rondo: Which NBA Point Guard Will Change Teams First?

It’s not a good time to be a point guard looking to be traded.

It’s hard to say whether Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics or Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets actually want out, but it’s just a difficult market either way.

Only a few teams may be interested in either player, and with that being the case, it’s difficult to imagine any team offering something more than 50 cents on the dollar to the Celtics or Nets.

 

But as has been the case for quite some time with Rondo, and more recently with Williams, trade rumors will live on. After winning a championship with the Celtics and watching every piece of that team go elsewhere, it only makes sense that Rondo is predicted to leave a rebuilding team entering the final year of his contract.

And with Williams struggling mightily in Brooklyn and largely unable to stay healthy because of those nagging ankle injuries, his giant salary may be the first thing Brooklyn decides to move if it all starts to come apart.

Here’s Howard Beck at Bleacher Report with more on Williams:

It’s hard to say what the Nets might get for a former All-Star with bad ankles and $63 million left on his contract, but it’s worth exploring. The Houston Rockets tried to acquire Williams last December, so it’s not inconceivable that another team desperate for point-guard help might inquire.

The Nets’ rise began with Williams’ arrival. Their future hopes may depend on his departure.

The biggest challenge in moving Williams is that max salary that runs through the 2016-17 season. Williams absolutely hasn’t been worth that lately, and his durability is a huge question mark.

The incentive to trade Williams is there for Brooklyn. Both Brook Lopez‘s and Joe Johnson’s massive deals come of the books after the 2015-16 season, so the Nets could have loads of cap room to play with in the 2016 offseason if they find a home for Williams.

From the sound of it, Williams might be amenable to changing locations, especially since it doesn’t seem that Brooklyn has any realistic chance of competing for a title. Here’s what Williams recently told Resident Magazine about living in New York:

I’m not going to lie. I don’t really feel so much like a New Yorker. I grew up in an apartment in Texas where you could send your kids outside like ‘yeah, go play in the sun.’ Here it’s more challenging. The process of getting them into school is a nightmare. Even private schools where you pay are an ordeal. In Utah, you just send your kids to the first public school in the area because they’re all great. Truth is, we enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle and going back to Utah every summer.

Again, even if Williams wants out, the suitors should be limited and the massive salary will make things difficult.

What about Rondo? His deal is up after this year, and he’s one of the more affordable stars out there with a salary of $12.9 million this season.

Of course there are complications here as well. Rondo has been involved in trade rumors for years and years now, and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has always held on to him. Still, with free agency looming, now might be the time to cash in.

On the topic of trading Rajon Rondo, Hall of Fame sportswriter Jackie MacMullan said this on ESPN’s Around the Horn:

“Oh, I hope so. Just get it done. And it will happen because he’s told them he wants out. And no one believes me, but that’s the truth.”

Of course, as is the nature of these sorts of things, conflicting reports on Rondo’s desire to leave this year have come out.

Here’s Sean Deveney of the Sporting News:

For Rajon Rondo, little has changed. He and those around him have long held that his intention for the final two years of his contract with Boston is to play out the deal, first showing that he is healthy after returning from ACL surgery last year, then bouncing back into All-Star form this year as he heads into 2015 free agency.

Thus, sources on both sides disputed the suggestion that emerged this weekend that Rondo had requested a trade from the Celtics — it is still his intention to play out his contract in Boston, and it’s still the Celtics intention to begin the season with him as the starting point guard.

Most likely, any team trading for Rondo will need to be assured that the point guard will re-sign with them long term in the offseason. That’s always risky business, and it would seemingly eliminate teams in need of a point guard like the Milwaukee Bucks from sacrificing future assets for a player who could walk. Rondo won’t be traded for if he’s just a rental.

With all that being said, here’s guessing that neither player is dealt this season. Williams will likely have to prove he can stay healthy for a full season and improve his play remarkably before he’s a real threat to be a trade acquisition, and Boston may be holding out hope that it can re-sign Rondo in the offseason and bring in quality players around him.

If you had to guess who will leave first, though, Rondo is the safer bet. He’s on an expiring contract and could easily hit free agency and choose his next destination. There are less hoops to jump through then there are with Williams, and for that reason, Rondo is more likely to change uniforms first. 

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Miami Heat: Shawne and Reggie Williams Signing Grade

Miami Heat: Shawne and Reggie Williams Signing Grade
Nekias Duncan, Lead Writer/Hoopstuff…
With the roster nearly set, the Miami Heat decided to add some more wing depth by adding a pair of Williams’, Shawne and Reggie.
Shawne Williams, a 6’9 forward from Memphis, played a stint for the Lakers last season as a hybrid 3/4 under Mike D’Antoni. Williams averaged 5.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg in 20.9 mpg last season for Los Angeles. Williams is a 3 & D forward without much three; he’s only a 33.3% shooter from behind the arc for his career, although he does shoot 38.3% on corner threes for his career. However, Williams’ ability to guard 2s, 3s, and some 4s could prove to be valuable in a bench role.
On the other hand, forward Reggie Williams isn’t that good of a defender, but he CAN shoot the rock. This Williams is a career 37.1% three-point shooter, but hasn’t played much in the last two seasons, only averaging 9.5 mpg in Charlotte, and 5.7 mpg last year with the Thunder. Assuming he sticks …

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Williams savors entry into Naismith Hall of Fame (Yahoo Sports)

FILE - In this April 1, 2002, file photo, Maryland coach Gary Williams swings the net after his Terps beat Indiana 64-52 in the NCAA final in Atlanta. Williams will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

All the hard work and yes, sweat, was worth it for Gary Williams. Williams will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is an achievement the coach does not take lightly. ”Winning the national championship at Maryland and getting into the Hall of Fame, those two things are the highlights of my career,” Williams said in a telephone interview.


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Hawks trade Williams in three-player deal

The Hawks cut salary but give up a valuable bench scorer and intriguing prospect.

      
 

 

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Hawks’ Lou Williams Trade Shows Atlanta Is Serious About Luring Star Free Agent

Fresh off appearing in the postseason as the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed, the Atlanta Hawks are already busy making moves that could lead to even better results next time.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Chris Vivlamore, “The Hawks have agreed to a trade that will send Lou Williams and the rights to 2013 first-round draft pick Lucas Nogueira to the Raptors for John Salmons, according to a person familiar with the situation.”

The Hawks intend to waive Salmons in a move that will free up salary cap room,” Vivlamore writes.

The deal isn’t official just yet, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst are already hearing similar things: 

The Hawks, sources say, will immediately waive Salmons to expand their projected salary-cap space for this summer to $15.5 million, though one source cautioned Sunday that the move is more about flexibility and roster-shaping for the Hawks than any specific free-agent target.

So perhaps we can rule out the organization making a serious run at LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony, but the Hawks could still swing for the fences. The home run in this free-agent market would be finding some way to pair James and Anthony together.

Stein and Windhorst reported that “the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks are among the teams mulling potential trades designed to clear enough cap space to be able to recruit the two stars and close friends.”

Apart from the home run scenario, Stein and ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne also reported that “sources told ESPN.com that the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat are two more teams that could join the race for Anthony.”

While the Hawks are almost in position to make a run at Anthony, they’d likely need to make another move or two in order to have a shot at James as well.

It’s certainly doable, but the larger question is whether James or Anthony would be willing to forgo more established winning situations to join Atlanta.

Traditionally, the Hawks haven’t had much success attracting premier free-agent talent, and it’s hard to see them pulling ahead of other suitors like the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers.

The more probable outcome isn’t quite as exciting, but the Hawks have certainly positioned themselves to improve the roster.

Assuming this trade goes through, general manager Danny Ferry will have ensured that Atlanta at the very least has the opportunity to target one or two second-tier free agents.

The organization could pursue an above-average small forward like Luol Deng, who’s reportedly on its radar.

Alternatively, it could even look at a big man Paul Gasol. It could even explore upgrades at the point guard position if it isn’t convinced Jeff Teague is the floor general of the future.

In one of his mock drafts, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford (subscription required) revealed that Atlanta is, “not completely sold on Jeff Teague and could explore the market for him this summer.”

Should the Hawks deal Teague, a free agent like Kyle Lowry could also be on their radar.

Though the franchise may not have the pedigree desired by the likes of James or Anthony, it certainly has some pieces that could be appealing to other free agents. Center Al Horford is one of the better big men in the business, and—whether the Hawks are sold on him or not—the 26-year-old Teague has quietly shown flashes of All-Star play.

Teague averaged 19.3 points and five assists per contest in a seven-game first-round series against the Indiana Pacers during the playoffs.

One of the better fits in Atlanta might be unrestricted free agent Lance Stephenson. The Hawks could use a dynamic playmaker alongside spot-up shooters like Kyle Korver and Pero Antic. While the Pacers don’t want to lose Stephenson, they could be outbid by a club with Atlanta’s resources.

If the Hawks believe the 23-year-old Stephenson is a star in the making, they could give him a deal worth $8-10 million per year. Offering a comparable contract might be difficult for the money-tight Pacers to stomach—especially given concerns over the young guard’s maturity.

Whatever names Ferry and Co. have in mind, they’ve made it clear the Hawks will be players in this summer’s free-agent talks.

That’s really all you can ask from a team that’s clearly still a piece or two away from making serious noise in the East.

While the big names are sure to generate headlines, don’t be surprised if Atlanta takes a more measured approach this summer. Recall that the club made relatively modest signings this time last year, inking Williams and power forward Paul Millsap to very reasonable deals.

Millsap made $9.5 million last season and is due to earn the same next season.

Atlanta also re-signed sharpshooter Kyle Korver to a four-year, $24 million pact last summer.

None of those deals broke the bank, and they ensured a balanced rotation that wound up being good enough to make the postseason. That kind of approach could be the template the organization follows this time around.

Unless a big-name decision ends up favoring the Hawks, this team might not have much choice. Aiming for someone like Stephenson or Deng would meet a need on the wing, and it likely wouldn’t entail a max contract.

As easy as it is to overlook these Hawks when it comes to premier free-agent destinations, they could be quietly assembling a winner before our eyes.

With head coach Mike Budenholzer taking over last season after being groomed by none other than Gregg Popovich, this franchise suddenly has a foundation worth watching—a foundation that could be significantly stronger by summer’s end.

 

Contract information courtesy of HoopsHype.

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Are Raptors Preparing for Kyle Lowry’s Departure by Acquiring Lou Williams?

Kyle Lowry is just one of many players—along with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony—expected to dominate the headlines once the NBA’s free-agency period officially opens on July 1.

And while the Toronto Sun’s Doug Smith reported as recently as May 5 that Lowry has more than a soft spot for his adopted city, that’s not stopping the Toronto Raptors from making contingency plans.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore, the Raptors are on the cusp of completing a trade that would send John Salmons and a future second-round draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Lou Williams and Brazilian prospect Lucas Nogueira.

For the Raptors, the move serves a twofold purpose: Not only do they get a proven veteran capable of playing both guard positions, but they also push themselves even further under the salary cap, thereby giving them a better chance to either re-sign Lowry, fully convey either of their two qualifying offers or go after another free agent altogether.

As Vivlamore points out, while Williams’ knee injury may be a cause for some concern, his expiring deal means Toronto will have a bit more breathing room next summer should they go all in over the next few months:

Williams will make $5,450,000 next season, which was to be the final of a three-year free-agent deal he signed with the Hawks. Williams was the odd-man out in the Hawks guard rotation and was likely to be in the same position this season. Williams, who returned last season from a torn right ACL, did not play in a stretch of seven straight games in March as a coach’s decision.

As for Lowry, his potential suitors have already included the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Miami, according to a recent report by USA Today’s Sam Amick.

Facing such a daunting trio of heavy hitters, Toronto may have to dig a bit deeper into the franchise kitty if they have any chance of retaining Lowry, whose breakout 2013-14 season has him eyeing a much-deserved payday.

Indeed, it’s worth wondering whether the Raptors have changed their tune in the months since NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported the team was reluctant to give their floor general an All-Star payday:

The Raptors do not want to give Lowry a big-money contract this summer along the lines of what other point guards who’ve signed extensions recently: Denver‘s Ty Lawson (four years, $48 million), Golden State’s Stephen Curry (four years, $44 million) or New Orleans‘ Jrue Holiday (four years, $41 million from Philadelphia).

Once the Williams-Salmons trade is finalized, the Raptors will have around $40 million in committed salaries. Should they exercise Amir Johnson’s $7 million team option, that figure will rise to $47 million—still a full $16 million shy of the projected salary cap.

That’s where things get a bit tricky.

It’s certainly possible that a rival team in need of backcourt depth will trump the $3.2 million qualifying offer currently on the table for Greivis Vasquez, who emerged as a key part of Toronto’s rotation despite his ostensible role as Lowry’s primary backup.

According to the league’s CBA, teams have seven days to match an offer for a restricted free agent. Which means that, if Vasquez were to sign an offer sheet on, say, July 2, the Raptors would have to pull out every stop necessary to lure Lowry back within a week—if that’s indeed their plan.

If their gambit fails, they’d most certainly have to match Vasquez’s offer. Assuming it’s not exorbitant, of course.

Unless the Raptors have designs on another point guard altogether—unlikely, given this year’s crop—it’s hard to believe they’d be willing to enter the 2014-15 season with Lou Williams as their opening night starter.

What Williams is, then, is a worst-case stopgap, should Toronto somehow whiff on both Lowry and Vasquez. At best, he’s a versatile combo guard capable of providing much-needed scoring off the bench.

Needless to say, Toronto is hoping he’s the latter.

Fresh as the Raptors are off of their first playoff appearance in six years, it seems unlikely that that general manager Masai Ujiri and his team would willingly take two steps back—particularly given the franchise’s exciting, youth-laden core.

As such, it stands to reason Toronto is either preparing to make a run at Lowry or will match any and every offer for Vasquez in hopes that the 27-year-old can hold down the fort before next summer’s similarly compelling free-agent class.

If, on the other hand, the Raptors lose out on Lowry but retain Vasquez for a reasonable price—say something in the neighborhood of three years, $15 million—that would still give Toronto around $11 million (along with a $2 million mini mid-level exception) with which to fill out the roster.

Which naturally invites the question: Which would you rather have, Kyle Lowry and a spare bit of free-agent change, or Greivis Vasquez and a couple of legitimate rotation players?

Should another team quickly move on Vasquez, we could know the answer sooner than later.

Even if their efforts to re-sign Lowry ultimately fall short, however, Ujiri’s latest trade proves Toronto is prepared for just about every eventuality.

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Raptors Reportedly Trade John Salmons to Hawks for Lou Williams

The Toronto Raptors have reportedly kicked off the post-NBA draft trade frenzy by sending John Salmons to the Atlanta Hawks for Lou Williams and Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira.

Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the trade:

Grantland’s Zach Lowe gave his take on the Hawks’ reasoning:

NBA.com’s John Schuhmann’s suggests that the Hawks are highly likely to waive Salmons:

The 34-year-old Salmons is on the downslope of his NBA career; he averaged just 5.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest in 60 games with the Raptors last year. His age and diminished athleticism doesn’t make him a great fit for the Hawks’ three-point heavy offense.

If the Hawks do end up waving Salmons, the added cap space should allow them to make a run at a top-tier free agent this offseason. They also did well to move Williams, who’s due to earn $5.45 million in 2014-15, according to Spotrac.com.

The acquisition of Williams and Nogueira should alleviate some of the criticism Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri faced after his questionable choices at the NBA draft.

With the No. 20 overall pick, Ujiri selected relative-unknown Bruno Caboclo of Brazil, who few could have predicted going higher than the late second round. During the draft broadcast, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla described him as being “two years away from being two years away” in terms of his readiness to contribute to an NBA team. 

Williams, on the other hand, comes with no such concerns. The veteran combo guard has averaged 11.4 points and 3.1 assists per game over the course of his nine-year career. He can provide solid cover for the Raptors should point guard Kyle Lowry move on to another team as an unrestricted free agent.

Nogueira is another interesting Brazilian prospect for the Raptors to groom while they await the decision of Lowry. Ujiri clearly wants to build a team for the future with the likes of Nogueira and Caboclo in the fold, and stocking up on prospects is the best fit for a young team looking to make a run in a diluted Eastern Conference.

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2 assistants under Williams leave Marquette (Yahoo Sports)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two assistant coaches who worked with Buzz Williams at Marquette have left the team.

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