The New Jersey Nets have lost Deron Williams for the rest of the season due to injury.
Net losses: Jersey lose Williams and Humphries
NEWARK // New Jersey Nets have lost their poster boy.
Point guard Deron Williams, whom the Nets are building their marketing campaign around for their move to Brooklyn, is having wrist surgery and will miss the final week of the season.
The two-time All Star had bone fragments and scar tissue removed from his right wrist yesterday afternoon, coach Avery Johnson said, who added that power forward Kris Humphries, the league's fifth leading rebounder (10.4), is going to miss the last four games because of ankle and heel injuries in his right foot. Williams strained his right wrist in January and the Nets were aware of it when they acquired him from the Utah Jazz on February 23 in a multi-player deal.
However, an MRI on Wednesday showed the injury worsened compared to what an MRI showed when the Nets made the trade. Williams insisted he would not need surgery, but a visit to a hand and wrist specialist on Wednesday found a reason for the wrist pain.
"I think this was something that developed," Johnson said. "I'm just glad we found it and he's going to have the procedure done and we can get it behind us and, hopefully, he won't have to deal with this at another point in his career." Williams averaged 15 points and 12.8 assists in a dozen games with the Nets.
His last game was memorable. The 26-year-old hit a game-winning shot and matched his career high with 21 assists in a win over Minnesota on Tuesday night.
"We clearly know where we are with this team," Johnson said. "Deron is definitely driving the car and when he's not driving it we're a different team."
Humphries was hurt in a game against the Knicks last week and he will end the season missing the final eight games. "He's just not ready to come back, the heel is still a major issue in terms of running, and there is too much discomfort there," Johnson said.
"He's been getting treatment around the clock, and this is a guy who has played with so many ailments this season.
"Again, to close a chapter on his season, really good thoughts about his season."
Humphries, who also averaged 10 points in 74 games, will be a free agent after this season.
Johnson would like him to return to New Jersey.
"Kris is about what Nets' basketball is all about, just his mental and physical toughness," Johnson said.
"He is very coachable. He has a high basketball IQ and he got better and better every single game."