It's been a long time since the New Jersey Nets have had a power forward.

Since Kenyon Martin's departure after their back-to-back finals appearances, the Nets have had a number of ammenties at the four-position, although none have been able to pan out.

From Jason Collins to Josh Boone, back to their first-round pick two years ago, Derrick Favors, no one has been as productive as Martin was for a franchise who hasn't been good since 2003.

Now, New Jersey is hopeful that Sheldon Williams can fill that void, and play a major part in their 2012 season.

Williams, a stand-out center at Duke University, has had limited experience since he was drafted by Atlanta in 2006. He played last season for the Denver Nuggets, averaging just 4.5 points-per-game, and averaging just over 14 minutes-per-game.

The Nets will be asking Williams for a much more important role than any other team he has played for throughout his career.

New Jersey will need Williams to re-gain his physical stature that helped him dominate college basketball, particularly when he was teamed up with J.J Redick. Paired with center Brook Lopez and point guard Deron Williams, he has the ability to be part of a dynamic trio that can win the Nets a lot of games this season.

Williams saw significant playing time in New Jersey's only pre-season game -- a 92-83 loss to the Knicks -- scoring 4 points in 17+ minutes. With Williams getting a good number of touches on the low-block, oppurtunities can be opened for Lopez, and it can open scoring for the entire Nets team.

It's a small step, certainly, but Sheldon Williams being productive can go a long way for New Jersey this season.