Tag:Derrick Favors
Posted on: January 21, 2012 4:42 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 4:48 pm
 

NBA fines Favors $25K for ball toss ejection

Posted by Ben Golliver 

Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors lost his cool in a heated exchange during a Thursday night game against the Dallas Mavericks, and now it's going to cost him.

The NBA announced on Saturday that Favors has been fined $25,000 for throwing the basketball in frustration towards the Mavericks bench and into the stands, an act that earned him an immediate ejection from the game.

Favors' ball toss came after Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki slapped the ball out of his hands during a dead ball, an action which warranted a technical foul but was not called. Jazz guard Earl Watson retaliated soon after, slapping the ball out of Nowitzki's hands in a similar manner during a subsequent dead ball, and was issued a technical.

Shortly thereafter, with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter and the Jazz leading, 71-70, Favors was called for an offensive foul for setting a moving screen on Mavericks forward Lamar Odom. He receive the pass as he rolled, looked at the referee to see the call and then disgustedly threw the ball with an underhand toss towards the end of the Mavericks bench and into the stands. He was immediately issued two technical fouls, per the league's guidelines on that type of action, and was ejected.

The Mavericks went on to win, 94-91.

Here's video of Favors' ejection courtesy of YouTube user CPollnow7.


Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 10:23 pm
 

What teams risk in a lockout: Northwest Division

A look at what is at stake for the NBA's Northwest Division if a whole season was lost due to the lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.

ricky-rubio

Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Southeast Division, the Atlantic Division, the Central Division and the Southwest Division. Let's continue with the Northwest Division.  

MINNESOTA Timberwolves


The NBA's worst team won just 17 games last year, had the league's seventh-worst home attendance and is generally mentioned at the top of the list of examples that "prove" the NBA's economic system is broken. That's because their local television, ticket and memorabilia revenue simply cannot compete with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics of the world. Despite all of that, the Timberwolves might very well have more to lose than any other team in the Northwest Division if the league were to miss an entire season.

Let's start with 2009 lottery pick Ricky Rubio, who against all odds took the plunge and decided to finally join up with Minnesota. For multiple seasons, Rubio has represented hope, carrying Timberwolves fans through ugly winters and late-season collapses. The wait was excruciating. The uncertainty about whether he would or wouldn't stay in Europe further into the future made it worse. Now that he's on board, he's been greeted at an airport, introduced to his teammates, sold some jerseys and rallied the collective fan spirit a bit. To lose an entire season would make that interminable wait that much longer. It would also rob Rubio of a valuable development and acclimation year, which would be an absolute disaster. This is a point guard who needs to start on Day 1, entrusted with the full support of his coaching staff and allowed to make mistakes and build chemistry with his teammates while learning on the job. No season means no opportunity to do any of that.

Aside from Rubio, there are financial risks as well. That might be surprising, because the Timberwolves currently are the only team in the NBA that does not have anyone on their books for more than $6.3 million next season, a fairly astonishing accomplishment. Of course, there's a catch: All-Star power forward Kevin Love is on his rookie deal. Indeed, Love is heading into the last pure season of his rookie deal before Minnesota either must issue him a qualifying offer or sign him to an extension. Worse yet, it's possible that Love, one of the league's premier rebounders, will command a mini-max extension or close to it. The point here? He's set to make just $4.6 million next season, a bargain for his production. If the season is lost, the Timberwolves miss out completely on that outstanding value and are one year closer to biting the bullet on extending him without having reaped full benefits. That's tough.

Last but not least, a lost season is the perfect excuse for any franchise to delay tough decisions or to talk themselves into trying to make things work. With an imbalanced roster full of mixed and matched pieces, the Timberwolves, despite their accumulated talent, are going to struggle mightly again next season. The pains of those struggles, theoretically, could be enough to finally convince owner Glen Taylor to pull the plug on president David Kahn, a man who hasn't shown the ability to construct a team and outright wasted two second round draft picks on technical mistakes during the 2011 NBA Draft, by trading a hurt player (Jonny Flynn) and drafting someone who lied about his age (Tanguy Ngombo). A year without games, then, is a year without losses, which means another year for Kahn to preach patience and wiggle out of responsibility for this mess. The sooner Kahn is gone, the sooner this ship turns around. A lost season will make "sooner" feel like never.

OKLAHOMA CITY Thunder

While the Timberwolves need to get headed in the right direction, the Oklahoma City Thunder are already there. With the best designed roster in the league, two young All-Stars, an undisputed Northwest Division title and a Western Conference Finals appearance under their belt already, and a passionate fanbase that is guaranteed to provide 40+ home sellouts next season, the Thunder would happily start the season today. A lost season, then, would be a nightmare.

Name something, anything, and it's at risk for the Thunder. They lose the value of Russell Westbrook playing on a rookie deal. They lose the value of James Harden on a rookie deal. They lose the value of Serge Ibaka on a rookie deal. They lose one year of Kevin Durant's Hall of Fame playing career. They lose another season of playoff experience. They lose a very good chance at making a run at an NBA Finals. They lose a season of having their top eight players (Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefalosha, Nick Collison, Eric Maynor) all locked into affordable contracts. They lose the chemistry and momentum that goes with having an entire nucleus together for multiple years.

What's worse: they have nothing to gain from a work stoppage, other than perhaps the money that would come with increased revenue sharing. Without a single bad or untradeable contract on their books, there is no financial reason OKC would root for a year away from the game. In fact, any change to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that firms up the cap would make it more difficult for the Thunder to keep all this talent in house. That means they wouldn't get the chance to win now and their ability to win later could be compromised.

Usually, young teams that make a deep run through the playoffs can't wait to get back on the court for a second go-around. Multiply that feeling by about 10 and that's the situation facing OKC. 

PORTLAND Trail Blazers

lockoutYou might think the injury-plagued Trail Blazers would welcome some time off to lick their wounds and assess the damage, but missing an entire NBA season wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for this franchise. Really, it's a muddled picture.

The main benefit is clear: the Blazers have a very difficult cap situation next season, thanks to a mini-max contract for guard Brandon Roy, who is apparently no longer capable of reaching his previous All-Star level of play. Saving the $15 million owed to Roy, as well as the $10.5 million owed to aging center Marcus Camby, would be a tempting proposition for most small-market owners. Money aside, saving the miles on Roy's knees wouldn't hurt either.

Blazers owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, however, has dealt with serious health problems in recent years and is clearly in spend-big, win-now mode. He would cut a check tomorrow for five times his team's total salary cap if it meant a shot at the NBA Finals, no questions asked. It's difficult to imagine a financial enticement that would make it worth Allen's while to take a year off. 

Aside from Roy, the other big question is center Greg Oden. Missing an entire NBA season doesn't play in Oden's favor, as he hasn't taken the court for an NBA game since December 2009. A lost season means his layoff would extend nearly three full years to October 2012. That's a long, long time to be away from basketball. Complicating that further for the Blazers is the fact that Oden is a restricted free agent this summer. The Blazers would retain matching rights on Oden if a season was lost but they would be forced to offer him an extension without being able to see whether he recovers fully to be able to take the court and, more importantly, withstand injury once he's out there. Oden could command a mid-level type of offer on the open market, which would be a major investment for Portland, because the Blazers have already committed to nearly $80 million in salary for next season, with contracts to Roy, forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace and guard Wesley Matthews already on the books into the future. Without another center on their roster who is in their long-term plans, though, the Blazers wouldn't have a choice. They'd have to pay up. Given that situation, you want as much information as possible; a lost season would mean no information.

Finally, the Blazers have a big question at the starting point guard position. His name is Raymond Felton, and he was acquired in a draft day trade for previous point guard Andre Miller. Felton is in a contract year and hasn't played meaningful minutes with any of his current teammates, except for a stint in Charlotte with Wallace. Felton will require a good-sized contract extension next summer as well and the Blazers would surely like to see how he gels with their core, particularly Aldridge, before they commit to him long-term. Without any starting quality options on the roster, they would again find themselves stuck in a corner, forced to do what it takes to retain Felton without a readily available back-up plan.

To boil it down: the Blazers have enough questions without a lost season. Missing a full season would simply create an array of complications and made some tough roster decisions that much more difficult and, potentially, costly. 

DENVER Nuggets

Sure, the Denver Nuggets lost franchise forward Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, but they did an excellent job of stripping their roster down to allow for a quick bounceback rebuilding effort. The Nuggets, somewhat like the Thunder, are in a financial position where their salary cap situation makes it more advantageous for next season to take place unhindered. The Nuggets currently don't have a truly horrible contract on their books, although the mid-level deal for Al Harrington and the $15 million or so left to be paid to Chris Andersen over the next three years are regrettable. Indeed, the Nuggets have committed to less than $40 million in salary for next season, pending a potentially major financial commitment to big man Nene, who has decided to test the free agency waters, and a decision on guard J.R. Smith.

The biggest risks for Denver would be missing out on the value of point guard Ty Lawson on his rookie deal and managing whatever concerns might arise about Denver's ability to use its salary cap flexibility to continue work on its rebuilding situation. Most analysts believe teams with salary cap room will be in a position of strength, regardless of how the new CBA shakes out, so perhaps that uncertainty is more of an annoyance than a true concern. 

The Nuggets have a lot of questions. How will they spend their money? Who will they bring back? Who will they let go? Are the players under contract currently good enough to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference next year or is it better to continue slashing and burning for another season? These are good questions to have because they all point to one fundamental truth: The Nuggets have flexibility thanks to their young, cheap assets. The worst case scenario is that Nuggets fans have to wait a year to watch a promising, athletic upstart group entertain. That's not too bad. 
 
UTAH Jazz

If I'm the Jazz, I'm totally cool with taking a year off. A lost season means that Utah would save $14 million owed to Al Jefferson, $10.9 million owed to Mehmet Okur, $9.3 million owed to Devin Harris and $8.1 million owed to Paul Millsap. While Millsap is probably worth his number, the other three certainly aren't worth theirs, especially on a team that lost its foundational identity when it shipped franchise point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets at the trade deadline.

Right now, Utah's finances are pretty tight, with $61.5 million already committed for 2011-2012. Look ahead just one year, though, and that number drops to $48.7 million. To make things even nicer, Jefferson, Harris and Millsap will all be expiring that season. The Jazz will be poised to take advantage of their new-found flexibility, keeping the parts that fit (probably only Millsap) and dispensing with the rest.

The biggest risk in a cancelled season for Utah would be the lost development for younger guys like Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and 2011 first-round picks Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. In Favors, they have a potential franchise forward who needs to start enjoying a loose leash so he can blossom into the player the Jazz expect him to be. Forcing him to take a year off does him no good and, depending on how he responds, could do him some harm. Kanter, meanwhile, looks like an even bigger risk on paper because he was forced to sit out last year at Kentucky, his only year at the college level, due to eligibility issues and because he hasn't yet tasted the NBA game. A lost season would mean two full years away from competitive basketball, not an ideal situation for someone the Jazz selected with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft. As for Hayward and Burks, they are lesser concerns. Both have shown promise and clearly have room for improvement. Losing a year wouldn't be critical, but it would be better for them individually if it could be prevented.

On balance, the financial rewards seem to outweigh the development risks for the Jazz.

Salary numbers courtesy of StoryTeller's Contracts.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Griffin, Wall top NBA All-Rookie team

Blake Griffin and John Wall headline the 2010-2011 NBA All-Rookie team. Posted by Ben Golliver.

wall-griffin

The NBA announced its 2010-2011 NBA All-Rookie teams on Wednesday with 2009 No. 1 pick Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and 2010 No. 1 pick John Wall of the Washington Wizards leading the way.
Griffin, who was selected first overall in the 2009 NBA Draft but missed the entire 2009-10 season due to injury (stress fracture, left knee), recorded a rookie-and team-leading 22.5 ppg (12th overall), 12.1 rpg (fourth overall) and 63 double-doubles (third overall). Griffin became the first rookie to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds since Elton Brand (20.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg) in 1999-2000. A six-time T-Mobile Western Conference Rookie of the Month selection, Griffin became the first rookie to appear in an NBA All-Star Game since Yao Ming in 2003. 

Wall, a four-time T-Mobile Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month selection, ranked seventh overall in assists (8.3 apg) and steals (1.75 spg), and finished second among rookies in scoring (16.4 ppg).
The duo was joined on the first team by New York Knicks forward Landry Fields, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal. The second team included Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe, Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wesley Johnson and Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe.

Here's a look at both the first and second team rosters and how the voting broke down. 

2010-11 NBA ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM

Blake Griffin   L.A. Clippers   58        
John Wall       Washington    57
Landry Fields   New York       56
DeMarcus Cousins  Sacramento 54
Gary Neal       San Antonio  44      

2010-11 NBA ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM

Greg Monroe     Detroit  42
Wesley Johnson  Minnesota 26
Eric Bledsoe    L.A. Clippers  19
Derrick Favors  Utah  18
Paul George     Indiana 12

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first place votes in parentheses): Ed Davis, Toronto, 10 (1); Evan Turner, Philadelphia, 12; Jordan Crawford, Washington, 12; Gordon Hayward, Utah, 7; Omer Asik, Chicago, 6 (1); Patrick Patterson, Houston, 5; Al-Farouq Aminu, Los Angeles Clippers, 3; Tiago Splitter, San Antonio, 3; Trevor Booker, Washington, 1; Christian Eyenga, Cleveland, 1; Ekpe Udoh, Golden State, 1.

A few notes:
  • Gary Neal was the only undrafted player to make either the first or second team.
  • Landry Fields was the only second round pick to make either the first or second team.
  • Evan Turner was the only top-5 pick not to make either the first or second team.
  • The highest ranked pick to not receive a single vote was Oklahoma City Thunder big man Cole Aldrich, who was taken No. 11 overall. 
  • Three other top 16 picks -- Xavier Hendry, Larry Sanders and Luke Babbitt, also did not receive a single vote.
  • Three members of the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats -- Wall, Cousins and Bledsoe -- found there way onto the first and second team.
  • The entire first team plus Monroe, Johnson, Bledsoe and Favors competed in the Rookie Challenge at 2011 All-Star Weekend.
  • Of the second team guys, Monroe has the best argument for inclusion on the first team. He started more than half of Detroit's games and was the lone bright spot on a pretty horrific season, posting averages of 9.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Still, Cousins posted bigger numbers -- 14.1 points and 8.7 rebounds -- and has the name recognition thing going for him.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 8:01 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 8:39 pm
 

Utah Jazz sign coach Tyrone Corbin to new deal

The Utah Jazz have announced that they signed head coach Tyrone Corbin to a "multi-year contract." Posted by Ben Golliver. tyrone-corbin

The past month has arguably been the most hectic in decades for the Utah Jazz. Longtime head coach and franchise icon Jerry Sloan abruptly resigned. Almost as abruptly, the team traded franchise point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris and Derrick Favors.

On Wednesday, the Jazz took a step towards restoring order by announcing the signing of head coach Tyrone Corbin to a "multi-year contract."
“I am confident that Tyrone is the right man to lead this team into the future.  He is someone with longstanding ties to the Jazz and this community, and who has embraced the core philosophies and ideals this organization holds true.  I feel that his character and leadership qualities will be true assets to the Jazz moving forward for many years to come,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Utah Jazz.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to lead the Jazz, and to get to follow a legendary figure like Coach Sloan,” said Tyrone Corbin.  “I am truly grateful that the Miller family has the confidence in me to allow me to lead this team into a new era.”
Yahoo Sports! reports that the contract "runs two years guaranteed through 2013, with team option for 2013-2014."

Corbin took over the reigns from Sloan in an emotional press conference, handling a difficult moment with class and dignity by deferring the spotlight to his former boss. Unfortunately, his Jazz are in a bit of a freefall, having lost eight of their last 10 games to fall out of the Western Conference playoff picture. Their playoff hopes seem to dim by the day.

Despite the recent losses, Jazz fans have to like this signing because it represents both continuity and change. Corbin played for Sloan in the early 1990s and served under him as an assistant coach for the past seven years. But he was clear upon his hiring that he would provide a new voice and work to establish his own relationships and systems, a necessity for any first-time head coach in this league much less one who stepped into a difficult situation. 

For the last few years, Corbin has seen his name floated for various head coaching jobs and he's widely respected around the league. Keeping him in Utah is a nice win for the Jazz organization and their fanbase, which surely has its collective head spinning following the events of the last few weeks. 
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Deron Williams trade: Williams unhappy?


Posted by Matt Moore

The Salt Lake City Tribune reports on Deron Williams' reaction to being traded to the New Jersey Nets




The Trib also reports that Williams was "dumbfounded" regarding trade and had no idea it was coming. CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports the same, that Williams is not happy with this trade. If true, you have to wonder about two different issues. 

1. Did the Jazz make this move too soon and if so, why? The Jazz must have been concerned about Williams leaving them high and dry like LeBron James did Cleveland and Carmelo Anthony threatened to do with Denver. There have been reports about increasing frustration from Williams this season over the team spinning its wheels in place and even regressing. This seems like a reactionary fallout move from Jerry Sloan's resignation, almost as if the Jazz were saying "We don't want the guy who drove Sloan out." Which is kind of insane, considering Jerry Sloan's age and the fact that Williams is an All-Star who don't exactly grow on trees, I don't care how many picks the Nets gave you. If Williams was amiable at all to staying in Utah, the Jazz should have done everything in their power to keep him. But that's fairly obvious, so you have to think at some point, the Jazz got the impression that Williams was not going to be in Utah in 2012-2013, and decided to cash in now. 

2. If Williams didn't sign off on this trade, why did the Nets do it?  The Nets just got through with the Carmelo Anthony negotiations, and were unwilling to take on Anthony without his extension. Williams is unable to sign such an extension until July 9th, but if he's unhappy with this trade, aren't the Nets in the exact same position as they would have been with Anthony in a "rental" situation? If Williams is unhappy in New Jersey and elects not to re-sign with the Nets, Prokhorov will have just traded Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round draft picks for 1.3 years of Deron Williams, who could very well just take the subway over to MSG and sign with the Knicks. Sure, it's not the deal that included all those in this trade plus Troy Murphy and another pick the Nuggets were asking for, but it's still quite a bit. This is still a brilliant deal for the Nets, but now the pressure is on to make major strides in order to convince Williams he wants to commit to Brooklyn upon relocation. It's got a huge payoff, but this is certainly a massive gamble without clearing the trade with Williams first. 


Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

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, CBSSports.com'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 CBSSports.com 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:

Winners:
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.

Loser:

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
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Jazz trade Deron Williams, but why right now?

Posted by Royce Young



It took four excruciating months of hemming and hawing for Carmelo Anthony to get traded to the Knicks. It took a little less than 30 minutes for Deron Williams to go to the Nets.

In a stunning blockbuster, New Jersey acquire Williams, Utah gets Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round picks. A third team was used as the Warriors get Troy Murphy for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.

The Nets chased Anthony for four months, trying to schedule meetings, trying to convince him to sign an extension. And after it all fell apart, that's when they got to work. Instead of bringing in Melo, the Nets one-upped the Knicks and got a cheaper and better player in Williams. Mikhail Prokhorov said he didn't care about the Melo situation in Los Angeles. Well, I guess we know why now. Because their Plan B was way better than Plan A.

Everyone is going to talk about the Nets and what an insanely slick move this is. They just nabbed one of the top players in the league and arguably the best point guard for less than they were going to give up for Melo. It's a terrific deal for New Jersey. Like, it couldn't be better.

But on the other end, people in Salt Lake City haven't moved for the last hour. A couple hundred thousand jaws dropped in unison. Deron Williams is gone. Their franchise player, gone. Just like that. And only a couple weeks after Jerry Sloan resigned after 23 years at the helm in Utah. At this point I think you could relocate the franchise and it would be less of a stomach punch than this.

So why? Why was Williams moved now? Why so soon after Sloan's resignation? Are the two things related? So, so many questions.

Williams was already being brought up in talks that he wanted to go to New York in 2012 when he could opt out of his contract, as reported by Ken Berger. So really, the Jazz had the rest of this year and then one more guaranteed season with Williams. And we know what was coming in 2012. Deron Williams would most definitely be the new Carmelo Anthony. Questions every day about his future, rumors flying constantly out of Salt Lake -- it was going to happen.

And the Jazz played their trump card early. They nipped it in the bud. Instead of spending half a season dragging themselves down with trade and extension talks, the Jazz just got rid of the problem before it started.

Utah wasn't going anywhere this season. The offseason move of acquiring Al Jefferson wasn't working out and the team had been slipping since December. Really, this year was kind of a lost cause. Utah could look forward to next year, but again, it would be a year of Derondrama, and that wanted to be avoided. So a deal was made.

Clearly, general manager Kevin O'Conner wasn't confident in Utah's chances of re-signing Williams. I don't need to say that because it's pretty obvious with the deal. But the Jazz aren't a franchise that gets played. They've been successful for a quarter of a century with only a few minor hiccups here and there. They absolutely did not get back equal value for Williams, but they did get a solid package. They'll have to rebuild, which is something they aren't scared of doing.

Because now, Williams is New Jersey's problem. There's no guarantee (that we know of yet) of him signing an extension with the Nets. I'm sure Prokhorov and Billy King figure that will happen, otherwise they don't make this deal, but we don't know for sure. By the sound of it, Williams wasn't really asked. Jazz radio man David Locke tweeted that it wasn't Williams' choice to move and that he was stunned by it. So are we, Deron.

On top of it all, Williams was a bit of a problem child. He had major dust-ups with Sloan, didn't always get along with management and ownership and while he completely embraced the Jazz and Utah, he had some attitude. And the Jazz aren't an organization that routinely works through those type of things. So when you start to pile all of this on top of each other, it starts making more and more sense.

There's potential this works out for Utah. They loved Favors before the draft, got a quality point guard in Devin Harris and two first-round picks that will likely be high. They foundation of Utah has been shaken if not destroyed over the past month, but there's a clear effort to rebuild. And I guess it had to start with getting rid of the team's best player. Williams helped nudge Jerry Sloan out the door and just a few weeks later, he was packing too.

But here's the good news Utah: You've just got a lot better chance at getting Jimmer Fredette now.
Posted on: February 23, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 11:22 am
 

Trade Deadline: Deron Williams traded to Nets

Deron Williams traded to Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks.
Posted by Matt Moore

Breaking news this morning as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms a Bergen Record and Yahoo! Sports report that Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first round picks. It's a three way trade in which Troy Murphy is also being traded to the Golden State Warriors for Brendan Wright and Dan Gadzuric

It's a stunning development coming just days after Berger reported that Williams told associates last summer that he looked to play in New York with Amar'e Stoudemire. It's clear now Williams has been seeking a bigger market. He just got one. And the Nets now have their superstar. More coming shortly on this breaking story. 
 
 
 
 
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