Two days ago, when Ohm Youngmisuk wrote this story on the Nets' future with Brook Lopez out, he tossed a little tidbit about the Rockets offering Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin to the Nets for Deron Williams, an offer that the Nets "balked" at. It's a good story, and now it's attracting national media attention as people latch onto it. Still, it's not news.
I know it's somewhat hypocritical to be discussing why something is not news while simultaneously writing a story about it, but bear with me for a second here. When I first read the report, it was something I didn't consider worthy of a story, but now with it permeating the blogosphere, it's worth discussing if only to talk about why fans should not be overly concerned with this.
We've run into this dilemma quite a bit with the Rockets. Daryl Morey works the phones like nobody else, and the timeframe this story discusses is in the runup to Morey's mock trade deadline last week. During that week, Morey probably called 29 different general managers and made offers to them that they would never consider. To his credit, Youngmisuk notes that this was simply a case of the Rockets "doing their due diligence" and the talks never gained any steam.
In essence, this is akin to me asking my friend for his Fruit By The Foot in exchange for my half-rotted apple at the fourth grade lunch table. He says no, and we move on with our meals. In that situation, I would have simply been doing my due diligence to see if he was willing to bend to try and infuse some healthy food into his diet.
In this situation, it made sense for the Rockets to offer Lin and Asik for Williams. After all, what did they have to lose? If the Nets accept, the Rockets have another All-Star who fits very well with Dwight Howard to the roster, and if they don't, all Morey has done is drain the battery on his blackberry a bit. Williams has no doubt declined a bit with injuries in recent years, but he represents a big upgrade over any guard not named Harden the Rockets have on their roster.
The bigger reason why this isn't news is because the Nets never would make this deal. Not only would they be paying their roster even more next season, but it would be a massive repudiation of everything the team has done over the past year. The Nets roster is built to win now, and even though they have looked too old to do anything this year, is Mikhail Prokhorov going to pull the plug on a roster he's spent eleventy billion dollars on this season? Is he going to trade one of his two star players for a point guard that is in the midst of a great season but remains injury-prone and a center that fits terribly with his best player? There's no way.
Even if you could make the case that the Nets would improve with this deal, they would never stomach the PR disaster that would accompany it. They sold Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on a team headed by Deron Williams, and if they made this deal they would have lost Williams and Lopez in a week, with Garnett and Pierce on their way out as well, whether it's through retirement or trade.
For so many reasons, this deal would never happen, but it's a great story with one of the most marketable players in the NBA so the national media latched onto it. Deron Williams isn't walking through that door.
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