Jessica Camerato, Lang Greene, Alex Kennedy, Joel Brigham, and Moke Hamilton discussed their predictions for the most underrated free agent signings of the offseason for Basketball Insiders, and Hamilton says it will be D-Will who turns the most heads.
"Call me crazy, if you'd like, in fact I'm actually a little surprised myself that I'm actually going to say this, but I think Deron Williams may actually end up being one of the most surprisingly-productive acquisitions of this past summer," Hamilton said. "Watching Williams for a number of years in Brooklyn, I can honestly look back at him and say that he never really seemed happy. I don't think the bright lights of New York City, the media obligations, and the expectations that were thrust on him [...], I don't think that boded positively for Williams' tenure here [...] Though he's not the same player he was in 2009, 2010, or 2011, I think at $5 million a year, he's an absolute steal for the Dallas Mavericks."
Williams will return to Barclays Center on December 23.
Moke is right. At $5 million per, Williams probably is a steal. In Brooklyn, D-Will was being treated (and paid) like a franchise player, and he couldn't handle it, because that's not the type of player he is anymore. Nets fans know from experience that the Utah version of D-Will only surfaces a few nights a year, and that's when he can keep himself on the court.
But with minimal expectations playing for his hometown team where he can just be another guy with a role to play? That's a winning formula. The Nets needed to cut ties with Williams for the good of the franchise. It was time for Brooklyn to move on. But I do think Dallas is poised to get a huge bargain.