Apr 29, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams (8) calls out a play against the Chicago Bulls during the fourth quarter of game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Roundtable: Will Deron Williams Ever Be an Elite Player in the NBA?

The staff of Writing Illini gives their opinions about former Illinois basketball player Deron Williams. Williams and his Brooklyn Nets were recently knocked out of the NBA Playoffs by the Chicago Bulls. The staff discusses whether or not Deron Williams is or will ever be an elite NBA player.

Ryan: I don’t believe Deron Williams will ever be an elite player in the NBA. He is, however, a very good to great NBA player right now. To evaluate his true status is to stack him up against the other PGs in the league and see where he lands statistically. In 2013, he was 3rd in total points scored (1620), 15th in rebounds (254), 3rd in assists (663), 23rd in steals (82), 3rd in blocks (34), and 8th in turnovers (239).

If he were a truly elite player he would be at, or near the top, of every category, but he simply isn’t. Comparing his production against the rest of his peers shows you his true value as a PG in the league, and shows you very quickly that he is a very good player, but certainly not elite.

Mar 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams (8) during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 109-87. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Austin: Deron is a great assist guy. In fact, he is a good all around player. I love watching him play, because I see him play and I think back to the Illini days…but when I think elite, I think Lebron, D-Rose, Kobe, Blake Griffin…I think about guys that can carry teams on their backs to the upper echelon of the league. When I look at Deron, I see a good player, but not an elite guy.

At this point in his career, I honestly, and sadly, think it is just too late for him to ever become an elite player in the NBA.

Ricky: Deron Williams is one of the top NBA players, but is not an elite NBA player. The main phrase people think when they say elite player is “put the team on your back.” The elite players in the NBA like Lebron, D-Rose, and Kobe all put the team on their backs when their teams need them. When I was watching the Nets/Bulls series (especially Game Six), I didn’t see this aspect in Williams late in the game.

Also, Williams isn’t on a team that will help him flourish as a player. Brooklyn recently fired their head coach because they didn’t win the NBA title. If a team is going to make these rash choices, Williams will never be able to become elite. Would I like to see Deron get to that level? Yea, but it might never happen.

The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs and Ryan Kraemer.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

Like the us on Facebook at Writing_Illini.

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Tags: Basketball Brooklyn Nets Deron Williams Illinois Fighting Illini NBA

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