Are The Nets Preparing Fans For a Brooklyn Without Deron Willliams?

Feb. 20, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams (8) fouls out and sits on the bench during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Nets won 100-92. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Avery Johnson said Monday night that he and the team are "optimistic" that Deron Williams will sign with the Nets...but would not use the word, "confident". Billy King has expressed that confidence.

But in other comments, both public and private, team officials won't guarantee, or even come close to saying Williams will be in a Brooklyn Nets uniform six months from now.

The latest, largely unnoticed comment, came Monday morning on WFAN when Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton asked Nets CEO Brett Yormark about Williams. Yormark noted his confidence in the front office, then added,

"This team is bigger than one particular player or two players, so I’m convinced we’ll look very differently going into Brooklyn and I am convinced we will have a good team that people in Brooklyn will certainly root for."

In comments to Nets season ticket holders last week, Mikhail Prokhorov also described his global superstar, but didn't mention Williams.

"It would be best for us to find a young ambitious player and to make him, inside our team, a super star," said the owner.

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