ESPN is unveiling Nos. 6-10 in their player rankings on Monday. And at No. 9, one spot above reigning Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin and one spot below reigning MVP Derrick Rose, is the Nets' Deron Williams. But that's too high, according to three of their five experts.
"On the court, he didn't command the game the way he did in 2009-10," writes Kevin Arnovitz, "and once he arrived in Newark, he couldn't find the net with a miner's cap."
"Williams is a great player but I've never seen him as a great leader, and that's an issue as a point guard," adds David Thorpe. "And don't forget, now that he's not in Utah, his chances of pulverizing other guards in the paint thanks to the inverted flex are gone."
Earlier in the summer, SI's Zach Lowe ranked Williams as the seventh best player in the league.