Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Nets coach Lionel Hollins on Deron Williams: ‘He’s not a franchise player anymore’

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets - Game Six

BROOKLYN, NJ - MAY 01: Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks in action against Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets during game six in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on May 1, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Hawks defeated the Nets 111-87 to win the best of seven series 4 games to 2. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Before the season, Lionel Hollins said he’d frequently put the ball in Deron Williams hands. The Nets point guard declared himself healthier and more confident.


Hollins on Williams, via Mike Mazzeo of ESPN:

“He’s not a franchise player anymore,” Hollins said on Saturday morning during break-up day. “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.

This isn’t a shocking revelation, but it’s a little surprising to see someone from the team so candidly admit it. The Nets are better off for accepting this conclusion.

Williams is still capable of playing extremely well at times, but as Paul Pierce said, the point guard has yet to sustain that level in Brooklyn. At age 30, Williams appears to have lost a step, and players rarely improve their athleticism into their 30s.

Unfortunately for the Nets, they’re probably stuck with Williams, who has two years and more than $43 million remaining on his contract. Worse, they’re sapped of assets (draft picks, young players), used to acquire Williams and other past-their-prime stars.

It’s one thing to know they can’t depend on Williams for major production. But how do they reach the point they no longer need to in order to advance in the playoffs?