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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. CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com 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.


Comments

Since: Dec 8, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

@hafdolla

Deron is a product of the system he played in... Harris' will improve in this same system (even with a different coach). Once he learns it his numbers will improve. As far as losing Boozer (LMAO misses 30-40% of each season with questionable injuries!) Jefferson is pulling similar numbers already and is younger, again part of the system. The Jazz franchise will do just fine and continue to be a contender in the west. Write off this season which we as Jazz fans already had...and add the draft picks to Harris and Favor, the Jazz are way better off then we were a week ago. We of course will miss Jerry Sloan, wish this trade had come before we lost him.



Since: May 25, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 5:53 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

This league is becoming a league of stars. Its blatantly obvious. The Nets got D Will just to hopefully attract another star, then get D will to re sign. I am a 76ers fan, and i am so angry that my team has not gotten a star yet. We blew our money on Elton Brand. Solid player, but now max contract esque. But is this movement to a league of stars a good thing? I mean, besides the fact that TV ratings will be up to watch the heat, knicks, celtics, and lakers, is it really good for the league? the answer is no. It leaves 5 or 6 teams with a legit chance to win the championship, and the other 25 with absolutely none. No cinderalla story. No big upset in the playoffs. No 6 seed in the finals. I think this is something that should be changed, and the only people who will disagree with me will be fans of teams with stars. I.E. Knick fans, heat fans, celtic fans, laker fans.



Since: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

he made one of the greatest coaches in NBA history retire... enough said. this guys a low life.



Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

I agree, if they were gonna make this move, they should've done it before Darren ran Sloan out of town.

Also, the people who think the Jazz got over on this deal are retarded. They traded for an overrated PG, who, even as one of the stars on his team, in a crappy conference, couldn't hack it. Harris is a solid backup and and "AVERAGE" starting PG at best, look at the numbers, they don't lie. Then they get Favors who could barely break the starting lineup in "NEW JERSEY"! Do you honestly think he'll start over Milsap or Jefferson? I don't get it, out of all the positions on their team, they were solid at PF.

The only plus side are the draft picks, which are a crap shoot. Terrible trade Utah, you should've held out like Denver did, or made the move before Sloan got sick of Williams and left.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

New Jersey traded for a top point guard and got some financial freedom. I'm sure in hopes to  possibly lure the likes of maybe a Dwight Howard next year. That would make one hell of a one two punch.



Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

WHY? WHY UTAH?  Why didn't you keep Jerry Sloan, one of the 5 best coaches ever, and trade Williams 2 weeks ago????  We all know Williams got Sloan "canned" so why didn't they make the move then, and keep one of the greatest, not to mention classiest coaches EVER ?????? 



Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

Tongue out  That's what you get Williams for messing with one of the best coaches ever in the NBA.  Have fun in New Jersey losing all the time and passing to no one.   On the other hand, Utah has really screwed themselves by making this move now, instead of before Coach Sloan decided he had enough of coaching a bunch of over paid punk arss wanna be thugs.




Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

I didn't see it coming either, because it didn't show up on any of the rumor blogs. But I'm glad it happened, though, if only because it means the Blazers won't be trading Miller & Pryzbilla to the Nets. The Nets sure better get lucky luring other stars in the next year, or they gave up a lot for a one year rental. Moving to Brooklyn or not, how many stars (or NBA players in general) would choose the Nets as their first choice to play for? Good luck signing Williams. 
If Utah does a good job selecting the right players in the draft, they'll have come out way ahead in this trade. I also think this could be a good team for Harris to play for. We'll see. 



Since: Oct 7, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

  Although I really like Williams, I think the Nets paid too dearly for him. It looks to me that the Jazz are going to come out of this much much better,- AND Harris IS a good point guard. I would say that the Jazz will never be the same after Sloan left, but they got so many good combinations of draft and players from this trade, it looks like they will be alright ( though NOT the same level of possibility as they had when Sloan was there)
  I can't see the Lakers going after Williams - especially with Derrick Fisher still playing at a high level - and the Lakers stated position of not wanting to give up Bynum. They have no one else - including Artest that would interest the Nets.



Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:09 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

The players Golden State gave up are bad (Gadzuric, Wright) and do not expire this year. The pick they gave up is protected and it won't end up very high regardless because Golden State is hovering around .500 at the back end of the lottery.

Murphy expires this year whether he gets bought out or not. Thus, cap space for the Warriors


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com