Blog Entry

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 3:08 pm
Grading the trade of Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks,'s Ken Berger reports.  The Nets are also trading bigman Troy Murphy's expiring contract to the Warriors in exchange for Dan Gadzuric and Brendan Wright. It's a stunning move that comes just days after the Nets failed to acquire Carmelo Anthony in last-minute talks at All-Star Weekend. Their efforts included a meeting with Mikhail Prokhorov that failed to convince the All-Star forward. But now, at long last, the Nets have their All-Star, the Jazz are rebuilding, and Deron Williams has the market he's obviously been longing for. 

So how did everyone do in this deal?

Deron Williams

Well, Deron, it's not New York, but it will be. Ken Berger of reported last weekend that Williams began telling associates last summer that he would look to join Amar'e Stoudemire in New York should Stoudemire sign with New York in free agency.  Now it would appear that Williams gets his wish to play in the world's biggest market, he'll just have to wait a year when the Nets relocate to Brooklyn.  He's playing with a point-guard friendly coach in Avery Johnson and he gets to work with his first true center in Brook Lopez. The only problem? It would appear Williams is not happy with the trade

The frenzy is going to be phenomenally loud for Williams on his way out.  Despite his denials, Williams was linked to a confrontation with Jerry Sloan that was followed immediately by his resignation. Williams is associated with running the 22-year-tenured head coach of the Jazz out of town, and is now bolting. We said that leaving in free agency would be a PR disaster for him afterwards, but this affords him the easy excuse of it being out of his hands. And at the end of the day, he still controls his destiny, able to sign or not sign an extension with New Jersey on July  9th.

Williams gets all the media frenzy that comes with this move, without the hoopla of "The Decision" or the drawn out pressure and exhaustive media scrutiny of Melo's ordeal. He gets the big market with a young core moving to take over Brooklyn as the second New York team, playing for a billionaire willing to spend to win. But he left a contending team for a rebuilding one, in a situation he's apparently not happy about. He may wind up pretty happy in the end, though.

Grade: B-

New Jersey Nets

There's two ways to look at this, and either way, the Nets win.

The first is the conspiracy theory that's going to be massively popular for the next month, which is that Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Nets, purposefully raised the price tag on Carmelo Anthony, forcing the Knicks to constantly buckle to higher and higher pricetags, eventually giving up foru starters and a pick for the All-Star forward. Then he turned around and acquried a better, younger All-Star for less. In Soviet Russia, Nets trick you! It's a far-fetched idea that requires a whole lot of dangerous maneuvering and a pretty petty rivalrly. Then again, the Nets put up a billboard outside MSG this summer.

The more reasonable theory is simply that word got passed to Prokhorov during the weekend that Williams was looking to get out and the Jazz were looking to move him for whatever reason.  The package they offered the Nuggets was gold. Absolute gold, and they had already come to terms with surrendering that much in exchange for an All-Star.  So when word got around that the Jazz would be amiable to it, the calls were made and it happened the same way you hear from a neighbor that his friend is looking to sell his car. His brand new, rocket-fueled gold car that he doesn't know how to drive. 

On the court, this isn't going to be perfect right away. Brook Lopez has struggled this season, and that's likely due to Avery Johnson, not Devin Harris. His rebounding is terrible, and his defense has regressed. But he's an effective scorer in the pick and roll, and he just got arguably the best pick and roll point guard in the league next to him. The Nets have shooters like Sasha Vujacic and Anthony Morrow. But they are very much still a work in progress. This isn't going to be seamless, and the Nets will have some growing pains. But this was still a huge upgrade for the Nets and a no-brainer. Because of a simple fact: Deron Williams is an All-Star.

"Get an All-Star." That's been the Nets' objective since this summer: obtain an All-Star, because they are what sells tickets and wins games. Now they have it. Harris was expendable, clashing with coach Avery Johnson. Derrick Favors is a high-upside rookie, but this team wasn't angling for the future. It wants to win now. It had the picks to throw in for this deal. This was a no brainer. They gave up a meager set of assets in the long run for an All-Star point guard to put them on the map. They're no longer a hard sell for free agents, they're no longer a joke to the media, they're a player in the market, with the ability to make themselves into a contender over the next two seasons. Just in time for Brooklyn.

Grade: A+

Utah Jazz

We're going to need to bring in the trauma counselors for the Jazz fans.  In two weeks, they've lost their franchise institution coach for 22 years, and their starting All-Star point guard.  They're now left with Devin Harris and three big forwards.  They've gone from a Western Conference title contender (in some circles), to a second-rate team that may struggle to make the postseason. And worst of all, they have no real star. But they do have a lot of potential. It's clear that this move signifies an admission from Jazz management that they were not going to be able to sign Williams to an extension, and rather than subject themselves to a year like the Nuggets have gone through or worse a year like Cleveland in 2012, they chose to simply get the most they could right now. 

And they got a lot. Harris isn't Williams, by any stretch, but he's a fine point guard, and could thrive on a team with more talent like the Jazz. Favors is high-upside and a little redundant next to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, but that could also allow them to move one of the two of them before the deadline or in the summer. That kind of flexibility is important going forward, and the Jazz are no longer bound to try and compete for Williams. They can elect to rebuild or try and swing for the fences with what they have. The Jazz were high on Favors in the draft, hoping he'd fall to ten. Sometimes you get your guy, just later. 

But in the end, this spells the end of an era for the Jazz. Or at least, the death rattle after Jerry Sloan's resignation spelled the mortal wound to said chapter. Things will never be the same again for the Jazz. They had a Hall of Fame coach, an All-Star point guard many considered the best in the league, and the ability to build around him to try and win a title. Now they find themselves among Cleveland, Toronto, and Denver, albeit with a better set of assets. Just another small market torn asunder by the new exodus of stars to their big-market counterparts. 

Grade: B

More Winners and Losers:

Brook Lopez: As mentioned above, Lopez is a huge winner here.  His numbers should go up with Williams next to him.

Avery Johnson: Johnson may have been under scrutiny after this season for underperforming but now with Williams his prospects raise considerably. Of course, if he doesn't get it done with Williams, that will pretty much be it for Johnson.

Brooklyn basketball fans: You had to be worried about what kind of team you were getting. Now you know. One with an All-Star point guard. 

The Western Conference: They've now lost two All-Star competitors in two days.


James Dolan: Let's see. You gave up four starters and a pick when you're a pick short for a gunning small forward who plays mediocre defense.  Your rival gave up two picks they can afford to trade, a point guard they were looking to dump, and a rookie for one of the best point guards in the league. Oh, and you look like a moron for bringing in Isiah Thomas. Great week, Jimmy.

Tyrone Corbin: Good luck with that, chief. 

Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers were looking to get Harris for Andre Miller. They're likely to stand pat now

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:13 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

Imagine the Nets sign Zach Randolph in the off season...The Nets with D.Will at PG, Lopez at Center, The Beast Zach Randolph at PF, and perhaps they can trade for Gallo at put him at Small Forward. 

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:12 pm

Nets hire Life Coach for Deron

His name is Bobby Knight.  Here's how he introduced himself:

"Deron, you are probably saying to yourself, "Hey Bobby, how can I get back on the right track?" Well, as I see it, there is only one solution! And that is for me to get my gear, move it on into here, 'cause I'm gonna bunk with you, buddy! We're gonna be buddies! We're gonna be pals! We're gonna wrassle around! Ol' Bobby's gonna be your shadow! Here's Bobby, here's you! There's Bobby, there's you! (Breaks coffee table) Whoops-a-daisy! We're gonna have to clean that up later! Me and my buddy! My pal! My amigo! I'm gonna go get my gear!"

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:08 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

Congrats Nets Fan - As a Nuggets fan it seems as though we owe the Nets some gratitude for helping us to get back a semi-passable return for Melo.  The Nets sure look like they got over on this deal, assuming their goal was to get some superstars to NJ/Brooklyn. Well done, I'll be pulling for your team.  Throughout the whole Melo saga the Denver management was ripped by the national media as "inexperienced and lost" and the Nets were ripped for a variety of reasons.  Somehow the Knicks were seen as credible experts who were toying with both the Denver and Jersey franchises, this despite the Knicks being the most abhorrent franchise of the last ten years in the NBA with arguably the most pathetic ten year stretch of any franchise in leage history. 
And in the end the Knicks looks look like they are totally disorganized and overpaid, the Nuggets brass are being hailed for maximizing their assets in a tough situation, and the Nets seemingly hauled in an even better superstar.  Wow.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:01 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

at ICEMAX even Donny walsh said that Melo was not coming to the Knicks unless it was via trade to ge his extension money and not lose 20 mil...what makes you think for one second that D.Will is so stupid that he will not pick up his option before the July 1st CBA deadline...stop pipe dreaming D.Will is not going to give $ just cause you want him off the nets. 

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:00 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

And what's with all the Knick fans hating on the Nets??  Why can't you be actually happy that there is 2 possible good teams in NYC once the Nets move to BK?  I mean there was nothing going on for a decade here...Stop the hating Knick fans appreciate it instead of acting like a bunch of crying babies. 

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:59 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

I know its in to hate Dolan, and i am one of them, but if Matt Moore thinks that Dolan looks dumb bc the nets traded picks  and good young talent for  a year and a half rental of Deron WIlliams who is NOT going to stay one miunte more in NJ than he has to, then he is completely uninformed.  The knicks got an elite player and paid the price but he'll retire a knick.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:57 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

No doubt, it every players dream to play in the mecca of basketball...Brooklyn!  The birth place of legendery basketball minds and players...2012 the year Brooklyn gets their team Derron Williams will never leave, every player in the nba understands what Brooklyn is to basketball and represent it fo the rest of his career will be an honor for D.Will...BTW, D.Will has an option to add 2 additional years to his contract for about 42 mil, if he waits to the CBA that two year extension will max out at about 24-27mil...D.Will will pick up the extra years before the new CBA July 1st of this year. Book it!
Brooklyn lost the Dodgers but come 2012, Basketball is back. 

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:55 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

The two deals are totally different

The Knicks were a .500 team with these guys. it's not like they broke up a dynasty to get Carmelo. You need 2-3 stars and a bunch of filler to win in the NBA. the Knicks were a sixth seed and a first round out with Gallinari and Chandler. Mozgov wasn't even in the rotation a month ago. They just shipped dead weight to get Carmelo and now have 2 of the top 10 players in the league with Carmelo and Amare. great deal!!!

The Nets have a rent-a-player so they can actually say they went and got somebody. He won't be there for the Brooklyn move. its all over twitter that Williams is not happy. This is obviously an FU to Williams from Utah ownership    &n

Since: Jul 19, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:48 pm

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

Nets Grade A+? Are you crazy?

I just posted this in another thread so I will use some copy and paste:

The Nets gave up way too much in this deal for a superstar without an extension and some trash to go along with him.

The Carmelo deal was only happening with an extension.  Williams right now does not have an extension. He is signed thru 2012 and can walk then and goto the team of his choice (depending on the CBA of course)

In the Carmelo deal, Billups was also coming to NJ (And a few other parts that were better/equal to Gadzuric and Wright). Is Billups an All Star anymore? No. But he is still a B level point guard who can run a team effectively.  Would have ended up with Lopez, Humphries, Melo, Morrow, Billups

So whats the difference?

2 Extra picks in exchange for the guarantee the superstar stays, and Billups at PG for 2 years.

So now Nets will go with: Lopez, Humphries, Outlaw/Ross, Morrow and Williams

If Williams signs an extension, it makes it a bit better, and if he is the ticket to the Nets signing another superstar A level, or 2 high B level players - then it was a great deal. But look at it now - who is Williams getting the ball too?  Travis Outlaw? Humphries? There are no finishers on this team.

If Williams is here thru 2012 then leaves after his contract - this may go down as one of the worst trades ever.

The two picks that were given up are definitely high first round.

From the Jazz perspective - this guy wasnt staying. His value was at its peak right now between today and the end of his contract.

If anyone gets an A+ - its the Jazz.   Worried about having 3 solid front court guys?  Any of the 3 of them can be flipped out for another piece.  Heck, the Nuggets were centering the Melo deal around Favors and picks. 

On Feb 23, 2011 - The Jazz got the better deal. By far. There is no disuputing that.  And this is coming from a big Nets fan.

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