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Was Deron Williams Better Off with the Utah Jazz?

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Down 90-88 with 1:51 remaining, Deron Williams tried to generate some momentum.

He did -- for the Utah Jazz.

When Williams, a former Jazz point guard, tried to back down Mo Williams, the Jazz's current point guard, he knocked him over with his elbow and was called for an offensive foul. Then, on the next Brooklyn Nets possession, he missed an 11-foot jumper.

The two plays helped his old team secure a 92-90 victory in New York on Dec. 18.

It's been that kind of year for Williams, that kind of career since he was traded to the Nets two seasons ago.

Which makes me wonder, instead of making team officials feel like they couldn't re-sign him, should Williams have made more of an effort to stay with the Jazz? Was he better off in Utah?

The short answer: Yes. And now for the long answer…

Despite the fact that Williams got what he wanted financially -- a max contract worth $98 million over five years -- he hasn't had, and probably won't ever have, very much success in the gymnasium now that he's not playing for the squad from the snowy streets of Salt Lake City.

Don't agree? Check out the following numbers:

Williams, the No. 3 pick of the 2005 draft by Utah, averaged 18.7 points and 10.2 assists per game in his last four-and-a-half seasons as a Jazzman. This year, however, he's collecting just 16.9 points and 8.1 assists (both below his career averages) per contest.

What's more, his shooting has plummeted since joining the Nets. A 50-percent shooter in 2007-2008, Williams is connecting on just 38.9 percent of his shots this season. And he's especially inefficient when shooting from behind the arc, where he misses about four 3s per game and has a 29.2 percent chance of getting the sphere through the ring.

The stat that matters most, of course, is wins, and while playing for the Jazz, Williams experienced a lot of them -- 278 to be precise. Thanks to those victories, he got to play in 44 playoff games. But since moving to the East Coast, Williams' Nets have gone 42-73 and missed the postseason twice.

Jared Bray, a graduate of Brigham Young University's College of Fine Arts and Communications, has followed the Utah Jazz since 2008, when he covered the team as a sports correspondent for KBYU-TV's Daily News at Noon.

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