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D-Will to play off the ball at times

Deron Williams is going to get to do something this season that he didn’t get to do last season: play off the ball.

Williams downplayed having multiple roles in the Nets’ motion offense after Saturday’s practice.

“I did it in Utah and college [at Illinois], so I’m used to it,” Williams said. “We played a motion offense in college, so I was always coming off screens, pin-downs. That’s what I’m used to. It’s good.”

The 27-year-old point guard sported tape over his right index finger and middle finger, but coach Avery Johnson said it wasn’t anything major.

“He’s fine,” Johnson said. “I think at the end of his tour duty overseas [with Besiktas], I think he kind of jammed it, but he’s fine. He’s shooting the ball really well. I didn’t see him miss many [Saturday], whether he was on the ball or off the ball.

“He likes a little more of our motion and how we have him running off screens a little bit more this year, teams don’t necessarily know where to find him as much as they did last year.”

Johnson said the Nets are implementing some of the sets that Williams ran in Turkey into their offense.

“We think that’s going to help him and our team,” Johnson said.

Williams obviously couldn’t work on playing off the ball last season because he wasn’t practicing due to his injured right shooting wrist.

On Friday, he talked about practice being very fast-paced. On Saturday, Williams said the team wasn’t as sloppy.

He reiterated that the team hasn’t been discussing all the trade rumors that have been circulating.

“I don’t see it being much of a distraction,” Williams said. “I think everybody understands that it’s part of the business. The team dealt with it a lot last year, so they’re kind of oblivious to it now.”

So has Williams been in meetings with free agents recently?



“If I did, I wouldn’t tell you,” he said.