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 28, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 3:08 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Hey Redwings69.  I understand the CBA just fine.  I live in NY, where we have four newspapers, three all sport TV stations, and two all sports radio stations covering every professional athletes nose hairs.  All of which I pay attention to.  If it wasn't for the damn CBA coming up, the Knicks would not have traded for Melo and simply signed him come summer time.   Which I would have preferred, because the Knicks would have not lost any players.

And weather there is a hardcap or not doesn't change the fact that the Nets traded a ton of commodities for a potential 1-1/2 year rental.  And it will stay that way until Deron signs an extension. 

Secondly, the post you replied to me on was my direct reaction to some clown who wrote he was laughing at how much a better deal the Nets got than the Knicks, so maybe you should have understood that first before you go yelling at me for being ecomonically minded chall

Three years ago, all of the NBA and it's fans celebrated the mess Isiah Thomas made of the Knicks.  You all laughed at the notion that Donnie Walsh would get the team under the cap by summer 2010.  And then we got used as negotioating leverage by every free agent except for Amare.  The Knicks were on their way to another nightmare season, and the whole nation of haters could kick us around a little more (proly some passive aggressive hatred because the Yankees win all the time.).

Now, starting tonight, New York basketball is relevant.  Madison Square Garden is the destination of all curious basketball fans eyes.  No Blog in the universe changes that.

So keep on doubting you haters.  Tell me again how Donnie Walsh (if he stays with the Knicks that is) will not find a way to get the last piece of the superstar puzzle next summer.  Tell me that Felton is better than Billups when the season is through, and Felton's numbers no longer reflect his coaches crazy speed ball offense. 

The Knicks have exactly two things to be worried about.  They need another big Center.  And most importantly, who the hell is going to D up?

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:47 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Downgrade Felton to Billups?!?!!?

Easy there guy, I loved Felton, but his stats had a lot more to do with the style D'Antoni played than Felton's talent.  Billups is a five time All Star, two time champion, and I believe playoff MVP.  Plus he shoots better than 40% from downtow (as opposed to the barely 30% Felton was averaging).

But once again may I reiterate my love for Felt, he played his ass of for NY, and was tough as nails, but I still take Billups.  He's 34 not 38. 

This team is going to at least the confrence Semis.  They have spanked the Bulls so far this year.  Have had nailbiters that could have gone either way against Boston, and have been decent against Miami (although their only win against Miami came when Bosh was hurt).  But this was all pre-Melo.  The only team that has owned the Knicks this year is Orlando.

Since: Feb 23, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:42 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

As a Jazz fan I am very happy for this trade.  DWill was a prima donna who wanted to leave.  Better get something than nothing for DWill.  Good move Jazz FO...!

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:39 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

So wait, the Knicks didnt have to trade their entire team to get a top talent?  They could have kept almost everyone (maybe trade Chandler, the big Ruskie center, and the picks they sent to Den) and got Williams instead of Dolan needing his shiny, over priced new toy? Can you imagine Williams running that quasi pick and roll D'Antoni offense, kicking to Amare for the dunk or Gallinari for three?  And when Williams gets tired from being out too late getting new tats the night before, you can put Felton out there?  That would have been a monster.  Speaking for Bulls fans, thank you for not even pondering exploring that deal.

Yes Lebron, the Knicks are back.  Right back into the same rut they were in under Isiah, not building a team, but rather a collection of shiny toys for Dolan to talk about at the country club or wherever he goes.

Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:37 pm

Deron Williams to Nets


Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:36 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:31 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

Don't let the door hit ou in the ass on the way out either.

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:23 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

I've been a Utah Jazz fan for nearly 25 years. In nearly two weeks, we've lost two coaches (Jerry Sloan AND Phil Johnson) and now our franchise player? Last year we lose 4 players on our squad in Wesley Mathews, Kyler Korver, Ronnie Brewer, and Carlos Boozer. And to top it off we trade Deron Williams? This does not bode well for the Jazz except that they are blowing things up in hopes to collect better pieces and formulate a stronger team. The Jazz are headed for the lonely lottery and mediocre market. I am stunned. Sad and stunned. I miss you, Larry H. Miller.

Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:16 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

GREAT deal for the Jazz! Now if they could only get Sloan back. The Nets gave up way too much....
What are you talking about? The Nets gave up Favors (who barely even plays) and the most overrated PG in the league for one of the best PG's in the league. Are you kidding me? The Jazz could've gotten a lot more for Williams, this is a terrible deal for the Jazz. Matter of fact, I still don't see Favors getting a lot of playing time, with Milsap as the starting PF.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:05 pm

Deron Williams to Nets

I don't know what this will do for either of these teams...only time will really tell.....but i do know that the East is loading up with superstars at a rapid pace......

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