Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nets get Williams: Better than Knicks' trade for 'Melo?

(photo courtesy of

After failing to land Carmelo Anthony the Nets still moved Devin Harris and Derrick Favors for an NBA star, stealing point guard Deron Williams from Utah. Williams is apparently unhappier about going to New Jersey than he was playing for Jerry Sloan, which could mean many things.

But first, let's go to what the Nets gave up. Harris, Favors, two first-round picks (New Jersey's this year and Golden State's this year) and $3 million. Compare this to what the Knicks gave up for Anthony and Mikhail Prokhorov looks like a genius.

Prokhorov will look like a fool, however, if Williams' unhappiness doesn't change and he refuses to re-sign with the Nets after next season. In that case, could he possibly head to New York to team up with Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire?

As a Knicks fan, I would have rather traded Felton (comparable to Harris), Gallinari (comparable to Favors) and two or three draft picks for Williams. The Knicks could've kept players like Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph and a pick or two and gotten a player on the same level, if not better, than Anthony. Yes, the Knicks got Chauncey Billups as well, but he is not in the team's long-term plans.

Williams is better than Anthony in my opinion; anybody who read my 10-player list of stars better than Anthony knows this. To get a better player and give up less seems like a no-brainer, but the major issue with this deal is a disgruntled Williams.

After rumors that Williams forced Sloan out of Utah nobody expected him to be traded before the deadline, but the Jazz didn't want to be held hostage like the Nuggets were in the Anthony situation. It's hard to blame Utah for making the move and they got a solid return, but nobody cares about the Jazz anyway.

As for the Nets, they now have themselves a star for the next season and a half. But they won't win or even make the playoffs in that time and if Williams won't re-sign, they may have to trade him at this time next year or watch him walk away to New York or elsewhere for nothing.

Regardless of what happens, this has probably been the most interesting NBA trading deadline in recent memory. I'm not sure I can think of another recent deadline that has seen two of the top 10-12 players in the league change addresses. Especially when they both could end up in one place...

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