Home > Uncategorized > Boom goes the Dynamite… Deron Williams to the Nets

Boom goes the Dynamite… Deron Williams to the Nets

Sitting around this morning, watching Curling, and waiting to begin my four day vacation I was just thinking to myself… Maybe I should write a blog before I leave, but about what?

Then… Boom Goes the Dynamite:

Sources: Nets Trade for Jazz All-Star Williams

And just like that… the landscape of the NBA gets a little more interesting.  If this is true – and I trust Marc Stein and Chad Ford implicitly – then everything I wrote about Mikhail Prokhorov yesterday I take back.  Williams isn’t LeBron James, but he’s better than Carmelo Anthony.  This would be a massive pick up and a huge victory for the Nets.

Now, they will have to re-sign him, but they have a whole year for the Big Russian to convince him to be the face of the franchise in Brooklyn and when Deron’s a free agent, it will be the same summer that they plan to move.

It’s ironic, because the Knicks and Nets spent the better part of seven months in a very protracted, public pursuit of Anthony and the Williams deal came together in about half a second.  Whatever you think about the Knicks’ Anthony deal – and I wrote about 1400 words about it yesterday – New Jersey went from Losers yesterday to big, BIG winners today.

Further, I think this deal actually reinforces the the Loser label for the Knicks that I suggested yesterday.  Given the choice between the two players, Williams is the superior player and he’s a better fit for Mike D’Antoni’s system and to pair with Amare Stoudemire.  If the Knicks hadn’t lost site of the bigger picture in their (Isiah driven?) pursuit of Anthony, then perhaps this morning they’d be trumping New Jersey’s acquisition of Anthony, by announcing their own Williams deal.  Instead, they paid more for the inferior player, yeah!

For Utah, this is a bit of a mixed bag.  Their season was slipping away and their roster seemed further from contention than it’d been in the past couple years.  They knew that next year they were probably looking at a season of trade speculation just like the one that lingered over Denver this year.  So, by making this deal today, they avoided that circus and they probably received the best package that would have been available.  Still, without Sloan and now without Williams, it’s hard to see how the future for the Jazz is anything but bleak.  As I wrote yesterday, Favours has some promise, but he’s a long way away from being a great player.  Devin Harris is a former All-Star, but he’s also a guy who last year captained a 12 win team.  Forgive me if I think he’s more phenomenal 6th man than team leader.  And while draft picks are great, this year’s draft is supposed to be weak and who knows what next year’s Golden State pick (top seven protected) will yield.  So, for Jazz fans, this is turning into a particularly bleak winter.  For 23 years they have known that every season they would have a chance to be good, if not very good, but now?

Finally, there’s Williams himself.  What a dramatic turn.  In the span of three weeks, he’s gone from beloved Utah icon to a man who will hear nothing but boos in the Beehive State for the rest of his career.  In the first game post Sloan, there were a smattering of boos, as the fans blamed Williams for the great coach’s sudden retirement.  Those sentiments will only be solidified by his trade.

As Bill Simmons tweeted about an hour after the news broke,

“Hey Deron Williams – you just destroyed pro basketball in Utah, what are you doing next?” “I’m going to Disney World!”

That image is going to be hard to escape, but if Deron takes the Nets to the playoffs next year and then becomes the face of the franchise in Brooklyn, it’s hard to see how he’ll care about being hated by a million and a half million people in Salt Lake City.

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