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: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

All this started with "The Decision". What a mess this season is turning out to be. Spoiled millionaires turning franchise's upside down!!!!!



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

And not to be unsympathetic, but the Jazz have been a superb team for almost 25 years dating back to Malone and Stockton.  Any basketball fan will take that kind of success.  So please don't shed any tears for the Utah crowd.  It's not like they are the Bucks, Clippers, or T-Wolves.




Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:15 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

That's a surprise. Jerry Sloan quits with rumors that he was at ends with Deron Williams (mostly because Williams is an $%#hole).  Next thing you know, Deron Williams leaves.  Way to go Utah.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:13 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

Could be a good way for the Nets to lure Dwight Howard. Howard would be a great matchup with Williams.



Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets = Utah Jazz R.I.P.

This pretty much puts the Utah Jazz on a death march for the next few years, at least. They lost their studs in Carlos Boozer to the Bulls and Deron Williams to the Nets and they've lost their HOF coach. Since Salt Lake City, Utah is not considered a "destination" by the NBA elite, Utah will not be returning to power unless they hit the lottery - like the Bulls did to get Derrick Rose - and draft a new stud to build around until that stud is able to flee through pending free agency. Same goes for the Denver Nuggets. They will both head down the same path that the Cavaliers and Raptors are already on. The NBA is a disaster of a League heading into the end of their collective bargaining agreement. Expect demands for drastic change by the owners of non"destination" teams - hard cap, franchise tags, etc. and expect the union to balk and then walk.



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

Yeah?!?!  The Knicks are still the better team, are still going to the playoffs, are still going to sign Chris Paul next year, and oh yeah they also got a five time all star point guard in Chauncy Billups with Melo.

Oh wait, Deron Williams might not even sign with the Nets and end up with the Knicks (he's already told Amare Stoudemire he wants to be a Knick) meaning the Nets just gave up two first round picks, Troy Murphy, Devin Harris, and Derek Favors for a rental ,Dorrelle Wright and no chance of making the playoffs this year.

Now that's something worth laughing about.

Keep laughing buddy.  I wish knuckleheads like you played in my fantasy leagues.






Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

Sorry, I guess D-Will has 2 years left after this 1.



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:08 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

Yeah?!?!  The Knicks are still the better team, are still going to the playoffs, are still going to sign Chris Paul next year, and oh yeah they also got a five time all star point guard in Chauncy Billups with Melo.

Oh wait, Deron Williams might not even sign with the Nets and end up with the Knicks (he's already told Amare Stoudemire he wants to be a Knick) meaning the Nets just gave up two first round picks, Troy Murphy, Devin Harris, and Derek Favors for a rental ,Dorrelle Wright and no chance of making the playoffs this year.

Now that's something worth laughing about.

Keep laughing buddy.  I wish knuckleheads like you played in my fantasy leagues.




Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

Could be a good move for the Nets as lons as thy are able to sign Williams to an extension. But what happens if he really is upset about the trade and opts out after next season. Then the Nets traded their future and got squat!!!!



Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

It was time for Jerry to go I don't think he as the patients to deal with these younger players. If he can't handle his PG or put him in his place then he has lost control. SEE YA


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