Nets Rumors: Williams, Luxury Tax, Robinson

The Nets and Deron Williams had run out of reasons to try to save their relationship, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Brooklyn waived the former All-Star today after years of declining performance blamed on injuries, the pressure of playing in a major market, emotional fragility and numerous other causes. Williams lost confidence in his abilities, Bondy writes, and grew increasingly sullen at the idea of playing out his contract with the Nets. He also had an altercation with Lionel Hollins this past season in which he had to be physically restrained from going after the coach, sources tell Bondy. Even if Williams rediscovers his talents in Dallas, where he is expected to land after clearing waivers, Bondy argues it will reinforce the image that he wasn’t mentally strong enough for New York.

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Williams will leave Brooklyn as one of the biggest disappointments in Nets’ history, contends Ohm Youngmisuk of He notes that the Nets tried to accommodate Williams by surrounding him with talent, which led them to trade a lottery pick for Gerald Wallace and to give up multiple assets for Joe Johnson. They also went through four coaches and sent three draft picks to Boston to bring in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but no one was able to fully get through to Williams.
  • The Williams move puts the team under the luxury tax, which is where it plans to stay, tweets That should become much easier with the expected rise in the salary cap next season.
  • Thomas Robinson, the fifth pick in the 2012 draft, is already on his fifth team and may be looking at his last NBA chance, writes William C. Rhoden of The New York Times. The Nets signed the 24-year-old as a free agent this week for the league minimum, and he hopes to put past failures behind him. “A lot of guys are not prepared for the what-ifs,” Robinson said. “I wasn’t prepared for, ‘What if I got traded?’ ‘What if I got hurt?’ ‘What if I don’t play this year?’ I didn’t handle it the correct way; I admit it.”

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