The Nets were $24 million over the salary cap this past season and just barely made the eighth seed in the much weaker Eastern Conference this season. This shows that there are extremely overpaid players on this roster as Brook Lopez, arguably their best player, only made $15 million last season. With Joe Johnson and Deron Williams making $45 million total, Lou Williams would be the no brainer signing for the Nets to cheapen their starting backcourt and make it much younger.
Reigning sixth man of the year Lou Williams would be a great star to pair with Brook Lopez on the starting five. Williams was also linked with Brooklyn.
He is an efficient scorer at the 2 who is a 46% 2-point field goal shooter, which is just under Joe Johnson’s 47%. He would also be a much cheaper option than Joe Johnson, not to mention half a decade younger.
He would cost about $10-$12 million a year which would be much cheaper than Joe Johnson’s $18 million contract. He would bring in athleticism at the guard spots and play around 25-30 minutes a game, which is a step up from his role as Sixth Man on the Toronto Raptors roster.
However, Williams is poor defensively allowing only 109 points per 100 possessions. To put that into perspective, Kawhi Leonard owned the best defensive rating in the league last season at 96.4.
He takes almost half of his shots outside the arc and hits about 34% of them. The 28-year-old would add youth and athleticism to the Brooklyn Nets roster and would shake it up greatly for the 2015-16 season, but the question remains if he is a more suitable candidate for the role of starting shooting guard than Johnson? Absolutely.
Bringing in Williams clearly would prove that Joe Johnson would not be with the Nets next season because they would not have the cap room for two shooting guards that together would cost about $30 million. Brooklyn needs a major roster overhaul to save money and introduce youth. They would need to ship out Deron Williams and Joe Johnson to save money to attain someone like Lou Williams and add other younger pieces to complement him.
Williams is step one, but a huge step nonetheless of a Nets team that has a hopeful future. When the Nets picked up Johnson it was a piece for the present, but Williams would be a long term piece, one for the future of the franchise. Paired with Lopez, Young, and a young great new point guard like Brandon Jennings or Rodney Stuckey, the Nets would relieve themselves of money, youth, and talent issues.