The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly not interested in buying out point guard Deron Williams’ contract this summer despite claims that they want to get him off the books.
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Williams has struggled to live up to expectations with the Nets, with his progress regularly stunted due to injuries as well as lack of form.
While he did give fans a glimpse of what could have been with a 35-point effort in the playoffs this season, it was short-lived and ultimately his detractors were silenced temporarily before jumping back on him in the following games.
As part of Brooklyn’s plans to rebuild and become a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference, they need to shed certain contracts in order to give themselves flexibility moving forward.
That starts with Joe Johnson who has one year remaining on his deal worth $25m, although Williams is an even bigger issue considering that he is owed $43m over the next two years in guaranteed money.
The Nets could get themselves out of his contract using the stretch provision to buy him out, but according to reports that isn’t on the agenda for the organisation.
“But a buyout of Williams, while potentially saving the Nets millions of dollars via the “stretch” provision, is not in the cards. The Nets are not interested in giving Williams $43 million to not play,” David Aldridge of NBA.com reported.
“The intriguing question is whether the Nets can deal Joe Johnson and his expiring contract, at $24.8 million next season. For one year, even at that price, Johnson would have suitors.”
Brooklyn have suggested that they wish to re-sign center Brook Lopez which will probably result in him receiving a max deal, while they also want to keep Thaddeus Young.
As a result, Johnson will likely be traded if they can find a willing suitor, while Williams being bought out seems the logical next step to avoid the franchise going into luxury tax territory yet again.