Deron Williams has had one of the biggest fall offs from grace in an NBA career. Many people 7-10 years ago were debating who was better Chris Paul or Williams. Williams was arguably one of the best point guards in the league at the time. Currently, CP3 is having an All-Star season with the Houston Rockets and Deron is without an NBA team. The question is what happened? He last played in June 2017 in the NBA Finals.
Where it all began for Deron
In 2005, Williams was selected third overall by the Utah Jazz in the NBA draft and he was off to a good start. In his rookie year, Williams averaged 10.8 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 42 percent from the field and 41 percent from three. He was selected to the All-Rookie First team. From 2007-2011, Williams averaged 19.7 points, 10.4 assists and 1.3 steals. Williams was also a three-time All-Star from 2010-2012. Many people were saying that you can build a team around Williams and can lead them to a possible championship.
His last go-around
Williams had one of the worst performances in in the 2017 NBA Finals. While averaging 12 minutes, Williams averaged a terrible one point and one assist a game. He scored zero points in games one through four. He shot just 2 of 16 from the field for the entire series and 1 of 9 from three. He was only 31 years old, which is still a reasonable age. Most NBA stars at 31 are still very solid players and not really out of their prime. But Williams was playing like he was in his mid to late thirties.
There can be many reason for his major downfall. One reason could him being slightly overweight. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Williams was on Team USA and was rumored to be around 220 pounds. That was about 10-15 pounds over his ideal weight which could have started his down fall.
Another is that he couldn’t handle playing in the big market. Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets/Brooklyn Nets in 2011 after spending his first few seasons in Utah. That is of course a small market. At this time, the Nets were preparing to move to Brooklyn. There was also major pressure on them to win a championship after acquiring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in 2013.
The team of of Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Garnett and Pierce had an insane amount of pressure to knock off the Miami Heat. The expectation was on Williams’ shoulder and maybe Williams couldn’t handle the bright lights of New York. The Nets also went through a lot of coaching changes which probably did not help Williams. From 2011-2015, in Williams tenure with the Nets, the team changed coaches four times. It started with Avery Johnson, then to P.J. Carlesimo, next Jason Kidd and then Lionel Hollins.
Williams did also sustain a lot of injuries in his career which can take a toll on anybody’s career so that could have been a factor as well.
Williams went from averaging almost 20 and 10 in his prime to not even being in the league currently. This downfall has to be one of the biggest in NBA history.