Blog Entry

Deron Williams to Nets

Posted on: February 23, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 5:49 pm
The Nets have acquired All-Star point guard Deron Williams from the Jazz for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first-round picks, and cash, the teams announced Wednesday.

In a swift and astonishing comeback from their failed pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, New Jersey also will get Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright from Golden State for Troy Murphy, who will be bought out, sources said. Murphy is considering signing with Boston, Miami or Orlando once his buyout is complete. That separate transaction, with Golden State also getting a 2012 second-round pick from the Nets, is expected to be completed later Wednesday.

The deal, first reported by the Bergen (N.J.) Record and Yahoo! Sports, represents a major coup for Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who lost out to cross-river rival New York in his pursuit of Anthony but arguably gets an even better prize for some of the pieces that were bound for Denver in a deal that was agreed to last week for Anthony. The Knicks acquired Anthony Tuesday for four players and three draft picks in a masssive, three-team, 13-player blockbuster. The Williams-to-New Jersey deal was agreed to Wednesday, hours before Anthony was set to make his debut for the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Williams, arguably the best point guard in the game, had grown disenchanted in Utah, where friction between he and coach Jerry Sloan resulted in the Hall of Fame coach resigning Feb. 11. reported during All-Star weekend that Williams began planning his exit from Utah last summer, telling associates that if Amar'e Stoudemire wound up signing with the Knicks, Williams wanted to follow him there as a free agent in 2012.

In a chaotic environment that has changed the landscape of the NBA, the Jazz boldly got out in front of the looming soap opera with their superstar, opting to trade him for assets a year before his free agency would become a major issue. By doing so, general manager Kevin O'Connor has taken one of the marquee 2012 free agents off the market and spared his organization the kind of drama and distraction that besieged the Nuggets until Anthony finally was dealt to the Knicks.

As one rival executive noted, the Nets turned the "guts of the Melo deal" into a far superior talent and didn't have to give up as much as Denver was asking for Anthony -- or even as much as the Knicks gave up for him. But in the end, the players and draft picks surrendered on both sides of the Hudson River will be all but forgotten once Williams, Stoudemire and Anthony embark on what will be without question the most heated rivalry the New York area teams have ever had.

And with early indications that Williams is not happy with the trade, the Nets took a calculated risk -- but one that could pay enormous dividends. The Knicks got a player who wanted to join them while Williams will have to be sold. But he'll have the rest of this season and next -- barring a lockout -- to evaluate whether he'll have enough talent with him by the time the team moves to Brooklyn in 2012.

The deal saves the Jazz about $3.6 million in salary and luxury-tax payments, but does not push them under the $70.3 million tax threshold. Given the obvious decision to go in a rebuilding direction, the Jazz could be poised for other deals to clear the remaining $4.9 million they're over the tax. The Jazz get New Jersey's 2011 first-round pick and Golden State's 2012 first-rounder, which also comes from the Nets after being acquired in a previous trade.

The Jazz play in Dallas Wednesday night in the first game of the post-Williams era. New Jersey's next game is Friday night in San Antonio, where it is expected that Williams will make his Nets debut.

With star players aggressively angling for better markets and fellow stars to team up with, following the blueprint set forth first by the Celtics and Lakers and then by Miami's Big Three last summer, the Jazz snuffed out what could've been another long, painful march to free agency for Williams.

During All-Star weekend, Williams danced around the report by that he hatched an escape plan to New York last summer and proclaimed that he would not be addressing his impending free agency until he made a decision. On Wednesday, about 28 hours before the trade deadline, the decision was made for him. Williams has two years left on his contract after this one, including a player option in 2012-13 -- when the Nets are scheduled to move into their new home in Brooklyn and truly ignite their rivalry with the Knicks.

In so many ways, that rivalry has been smoldering for months as the Knicks and Nets pursued Anthony. It was elevated to five-alarm status Wednesday, with Prokhorov trumping Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan's acquisition of Anthony on the very day the Knicks' new superstar makes his home debut against the Bucks.

Williams isn't eligible for an extension until July 1 -- or whichever comes first, July 1 or the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. By trading him a year before he had the leverage of being able to force his way to the team of his choice -- like Anthony did with the Knicks -- the Jazz not only avoid the drama, but they also get a better deal than one they would've gotten under such duress.

The deal not only represents a short-term victory for the Nets in their battle with the Knicks over superstar talent -- it was 2-0 New York until Wednesday, with Stoudemire and Anthony on board at the Garden -- it also has wide-ranging implications in the chase for 2012 free agents. Will Williams stay in New Jersey, buy into the Brooklyn mystique, and try to topple the Knicks' star tandem of Stoudemire and Anthony by serving as a magnet for future free agents? Will he decline to sign an extension and try to force his way to the Knicks? Does his presence on the Nets virtually assure that fellow star point guard Chris Paul will make his summer wedding toast come true by joining Stoudemire and Anthony in New York in 2012? Whom does Dwight Howard team up with when his free-agent clock starts ticking? The Lakers, Knicks, or Nets?

Only this is for sure: The floodgates pushed ajar by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh last summer have blown wide open.


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:30 pm

Net Result = bigger win

It does seem evident that the Nets have gone one better than the Knicks this year. Losing Favors and Harris to get Williams is a no-brainer. Williams has the ability to make any player better and will likely contribute more than Anthony to wins. Getting Brandon Wright for Murphy provides Wright another chance to re-start his NBA career. If he can play the pick ande roll game Williams will greatly facilitate that opportunity. Brook Lopez has got to be celebrating tonight as his own journey just got far easier.

The Nets have now the credibility to attract free agents and with a reported $29M in cap space can add two more top free agents this summer or next. Would Howard consider the Nets? Perhaps but can Brook Lopez play PF alongside of Howard? If so then that would be a potent combination.

The Nets still have two 1st round picks remaining (of the four offered to Denver) that will continue to provide new players to build for the future.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 9:51 am

Deron Williams to Nets

The purpose of free agency is to allow a player to go to a team that wants him and where he wants to be.  It works perfectly in the NFL and the NHL, where they have a SALARY CAP.  Free agency should not be a crutch for the best players to all go to the same teams and make outrageous amounts of money, while the small market teams get all the leftovers and never have a chance to win a title (baseball and basketball).

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:52 am

Deron Williams to Nets

So now if Paul and Howard leave next year for NY or LA, what are we left with??.... A joke of a league. Franchise tags and hard caps need to be in place ASAP maybe even possibly having a 2player high exception per team rule. Also the NBA needs to contract- No more Raptors,Grizzlies, Hornets and Thunder. This would distrubute more studs throughout the league and get rid of the smallest market/ underperforming teams in terms of attendance and revenue.
I know Im getting sick of watching the same damn teams dominate the playoffs every year. Pretty simple, parity keeps it interesting. Lose that and slowly you'll lose the fan base.
For what its worth, i hope Paul signs in OTown, think it would be fun with him and Howard on same team. Maybe the Hornets would take Arenas and a 1st? Better than getting nathan.

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 1:21 am

Deron Williams to Nets

Great post, , I totally agree with you.  The NBA is getting sickening with these players being in charge.  You cannot have these All-Stars form a clique that decides which teams THEY want to play for.  Do they understand that they hurting their own league?  The Lakers and Celtics built their teams through TRADES.  The teams that they dealt with were not forced by their All-Star player to trade them now, or risk getting nothing later.  There was no planning for months or years in advance that they would "team up for less money if they have to", and join a specific team.  How do you think your teammates feel when you are basically throwing in the towel, refusing to resign no matter what they offer you, because you feel your surrounding cast is not good enough to win?  Something has to change before it gets completely out of control.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:02 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Williams is a true point and a true talent.  Nets win deal huge....but you have to think why?.....a big "red flag" has to be rasied for him not being able to play for (will say the right things) clearly thinks Williams is more trouble than talent.  Nets needed to take this risk...they are begging to be relevent...and now have a "Star' and some time to 'sell" him on Brooklyn.

Quick name 4 Nets?.....see my point.

Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:44 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Of course it's a huge loss for the Jazz... everybody knows that.  Don't listen to the morons on these boards that try to put a spin on this....

Completely agree with you, some people on here try to spin it to make it sound like a good deal, it is NOT! They gave up one of the top PG's in the league for Devin Harris (so overrated it's ridiculous, he's better off as a backup, like in Dallas) and Favors (could barely crack the starting lineup in NEW JERSEY, you serious? Plus, he'll never overtake Milsap in the starting lineup). So basically an average PG and a backup PF.

The picks are always a gamble, if they get lucky with them then it would be a good trade, but who knows. As of now, Utah made a bad move, they should've held out like Denver and gotten a better deal.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:37 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Look not at Deron's last few weeks with the Sloan's unexpected departure, but rather consider his entire career.  This point guard brings serious game every night.  His consistency for the past 6 seasons shouldn't be reduced by one night's poor performance against an amazing talent like D Rose.    Undoubtedly, this is a huge loss for the Jazz - no matter how you break it down.

Of course it's a huge loss for the Jazz... everybody knows that.  Don't listen to the morons on these boards that try to put a spin on this....

Since: Jul 14, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:24 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Look not at Deron's last few weeks with the Sloan's unexpected departure, but rather consider his entire career.  This point guard brings serious game every night.  His consistency for the past 6 seasons shouldn't be reduced by one night's poor performance against an amazing talent like D Rose.    Undoubtedly, this is a huge loss for the Jazz - no matter how you break it down.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:21 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

the owner's should lock the players out for as long as it takes, sacrifice next season if need be. Hard salary cap, franchise tag, contraction of 4 teams are must haves if they want a competitive league and not the nonsense that exists now. The owner's of mid-size to small market teams are nothing but farm clubs for the big cities now.

Don't worry, some of what you're saying is about to come true.  First of all, based on everything I've read so far it would be a big surprise if there isn't a lockout next season.  A ton of things are going to change..... the players and their union can't do anything about it either.  They can talk... hot air is all it is... the owners are going to dominate them at the table and eventually get their way.

If Paul or Howard or anybody else wants to join forces with other stars they just might be disappointed....  a hard cap is possible... a franchise tag could kill their dreams as well and many other things that stop those things from happening...  and my guess is 75 percent of the NBA owners are going to make sure they destroy the union.

Since: Aug 20, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:50 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

I agree with all your points. The sucking up they get in AAU ball is a good often overlooked point.

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