Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins has revealed his belief that point guard Deron Williams is not a franchise player anymore after their first round playoff exit.
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Williams momentarily showed a glimpse of his former self during the series, but the former All-Star was unable to find consistency as the Nets made their exit from the post-season in the opening round against the Atlanta Hawks.
The former Utah Jazz star was voted as the best point guard in the NBA in 2010 by general managers around the league, but injuries and a lack of form have ensured that he has fallen from the top in dramatic fashion.
Williams averaged just 11.8 points and 5.5 assists while shooting 39.1 percent from the field in the first-round series against Atlanta, as former teammate Paul Pierce suggested last month that he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in New York.
It appears as though his coach believes in that theory to an extent, as he has downgraded him from being a franchise player to just a useful piece to have on the roster.
“He’s not a franchise player anymore,” Hollins said according to ESPN.
“He’s a good player, he’s a solid player, but I don’t think he’s a franchise player anymore. That’s just my opinion. He’s a good player. I’m proud of the way he’s bounced back and played, and there’s so much pressure on him to be a franchise player, and everybody talks about a franchise player, but we need to have a franchise team.”
The 30-year-old is set to make $21m next season and then $22.3m in 2016/17 provided that he doesn’t opt out of his contract next summer. That in turn makes trading him almost impossible, so if Brooklyn want to end their relationship prematurely, then they may have to look at the possibility of a contract buy-out.