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Deron Williams: 'I'm not the same player since Utah traded me'; says Jazz’s system was a better fit

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 2:12 a.m. MDT

Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams reacts as he walks off the court after their 83-82 loss to the Chicago Bulls in an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Nam Y. Huh, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams reacts as he walks off the court after their 83-82 loss to the Chicago Bulls in an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Nam Y. Huh, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Point guard Deron Williams has struggled since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2011, posting career lows in shooting percentage and having his worst seasons in assists and points per game since his 2005-06 rookie campaign.

Although he has suffered a series of injuries since arriving in Brooklyn, N.Y., Williams attributes his struggles to Brooklyn coach Avery Johnson's system and the Nets' lack of talent.

"I was injured the first year (and needed season-ending right wrist surgery)," Williams told the New York Daily News. "I've really had injuries while I've been with (the Nets) the whole time. And didn't have the talent around me that I did (with the Jazz).

"And that system (in Utah) was a great system for my style of play. I'm a system player, and I loved coach (Jerry) Sloan's system. I loved the offense there. We could've been a really good team. We just weren't that good defensively as a group."

During his time with the Jazz, Williams never averaged less than 42 percent from the floor. In New Jersey and Brooklyn, however, he's making just 33.3 percent of his jump shots and shooting 26.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

"I believe I can adapt to anything," he said. "We're still a young team. Things don't happen overnight. It's still just December. We're working on it."

The Jazz traded Williams to the Nets for forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris, two first-round draft picks and $3 million. Williams signed a five-year, $98 million contract with Brooklyn during the summer.

Williams, 28, made the playoffs in four of his five seasons with the Jazz. In 2010, NBA general managers voted him the best point guard in the NBA. He has not appeared in a playoff game since 2010. Prior to the start of the season, no GM voted him as the best point guard in the league.

"I understand what [the Jazz] were doing," he said. "There was a possibility that I wouldn't have come back."

Ryan Carreon is a web editor for DeseretNews.com. Email him at rcarreon@desnews.com.

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