New Jersey may have lost the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, but according to ESPN.com, it just landed itself another star. According to the report, Deron Williams is a Net, with Devin Harris and 2010 lottery pick Derrick Favors heading to Utah to make it work. Jerry Sloan may think Williams is a jackass, but he’s still a mighty fine point guard.
After all the Anthony fanfare of the past few months, this deal came with none — Mikhael Prokorhov and Jay-Z didn’t have to wine and dine Williams over the All-Star Break and better yet, didn’t have to give up nearly as much as they’d have needed to get Carmelo. Sure, Anthony is a sexier pickup, but in six years in the league Williams has proven just as capable of being the type of winner to build around. He brings career averages of 17.3 points and 9.1 assists per game to the table, helping carry the Jazz to 50-plus win seasons three of the past four seasons. This year, he’s averaging a career-high 21.3 points and pitching in 9.7 assists.
Though the price is a bit lower than what they’d be paying for Anthony, New Jersey still parted with a pricy package, which reportedly includes a pair of first round picks and $3 million. Harris, though, proved expendable the past two seasons after an All-Star year in 2008-09, seeing big statiscal dropoffs and doing little to fend off a dreadful 12-70 season in 2009-10. At 17-40 this year, it was pretty evident change was needed, both for Harris and the Nets. Favors proved solid if unspectacular in New Jersey, averaging 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 56 games.
So, make it two huge deals in less than two days in the NBA. Can we get one of our esteemed Canadian sports channels covering this stuff around the clock like they do the hockey deadline? Plenty more to come, or so we can hope.