The New Jersey Nets pulled off the second blockbuster NBA trade in as many days. After failing to land Carmelo Anthony, the Nets were able to pull off a masterful trade with the Utah Jazz. The details of the trade are as follows:
New Jersey Nets receive:
Deron Williams (from Utah)
Utah Jazz receive:
Derrick Favors (from New Jersey)
Devin Harris (from New Jersey)
2011 first-round pick (from New Jersey)
the Warriors 2012 first-round pick (from New Jersey)
$3 million cash (from New Jersey)
One could argue that this trade is better for the Nets than landing Carmelo Anthony and that it was a better deal than the one the Knicks just made to acquire Carmelo. I will argue both cases.
This deal is better for the Nets than landing Carmelo
The Nets had to give up less to get just as talented a player in a more important position. Anthony is a scorer (averaging 25.2 points per game), but Williams scores too (averaging 21.3 points per game). The differentiator is that Williams is a facilitator. He is third in the NBA in assists per game with 9.7. Williams is the ideal player to build a team around, because he makes the players around him better.
This deal was better than the deal the Knicks made
Both the Nets and the Knicks had to give up draft picks, cash and a highly regarded rookie, but the Nets did not have to give up more than half their starting line-up and they still have some valuable picks. The Nets essentially gave-up less to get an equal talent, and arguably a more valuable piece.
Not only do the Nets get a top NBA talent, they get the piece that can attract another star to New Jersey, soon to be Brooklyn. Rumors are the Nets will be going hard after Dwight Howard. If the Nets are able to get Howard with Williams in the near future, the Nets may be able to contend in the Eastern Conference once again. The Nets also made a smaller deal with the Golden State Warriors. They sent Troy Murphy to the Warriors for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright. This smaller deal will ensure the Nets have cap room to go after another star.
While this deal is tremendous for the Nets, it is not perfect. The deal did not include Williams signing an extension and therefore he is still available to become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season. I do expect the Nets to do whatever they can to make sure he signs an extension.
The Nets aren’t all of a sudden contenders, but they are improved and just like the Knicks, its a step in the right direction.
[Photo Credit: theblowtorch.blogspot.com]