Trade shocks former D-Will teammates

DALLAS — This isn’t supposed to happen to the Utah Jazz.

In the span of 13 days, the league’s model of stability for two decades parted ways with Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan and All-Star point guard Deron Williams. Just like that, a team that looked every part a serious contender earlier this season — remember that November road sweep through Florida? — is possibly rebuilding.

Karl Malone and John Stockton are rolling over in their graves.

“I haven’t even gotten over Coach Sloan,” Jazz center Al Jefferson said, “so when they hit me with [the Williams trade], it was just like ‘wow,’ I was super surprised.”

Paul Millsap said the team was as caught off guard as the rest of the league was when the trade with New Jersey went down. The Jazz get back point guard Devin Harris, rookie lottery pick Derrick Favors and two first-round picks.

“It’s been crazy, a little weird,” Millsap admitted. “A lot of stuff we didn’t really expect to happen, it happened. Everybody was surprised by that. You never know what can happen in this league.”

That the Jazz rolled D-Will, one of the constants in the “best point guard in the league” debate, so quickly after many speculated he helped run Sloan out of town is noteworthy in itself. It didn’t help that Williams was critical of many of Utah’s cost-cutting moves of the last few years, so many speculated the front office was just getting rid of a locker room headache.

But closer to the truth is the economic realities of the day, namely making sure you don’t lose your best player for a bag of chips. Cleveland and Toronto didn’t learn that lesson in time. Denver did. And now Utah has lobbed the most extreme preemptive strike to date by trading away its face of the franchise more than a year before he potentially hits free agency.

Williams can opt out of his contract after next season to test the free-agency waters of 2012. While the Jazz could have conceivably waited until next season to trade or convince him to sign an extension, dealing D-Will now eliminates the guesswork. Who knows if there will even be a season and/or what the rules of the next CBA will be.

Jazz owner Greg Miller and general manager Kevin O’Connor decided to cash in now. Harris immediately steps in as Williams’ replacement and Favors is the power forward of the future. Harris and Favors aren’t Stockton-Malone or even Williams-Carlos Boozer. Not even close. But maybe it’s a start.

Still, seeing Williams depart was a shock.

“We’re disappointed. He was our friend. He’s a great player,” Millsap said. “There’s a time in life when things happen and you have to go our separate ways. Hopefully it works out for both parties.”

The Jazz also get two first-round picks in the deal — New Jersey (2011) and Golden State (2012) — to aid the refurbishing process. And the Jazz likely have more wheelin’ and dealin’ ahead. Andrei Kirilenko, Jefferson and even Millsap are being mentioned in trade chatter around the league.

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, who’s dealt with the coaching change, a slew of injuries and today’s blockbuster trade. He isn’t sure if another trade is around the corner, but promises to be ready for it.

“It’s a business of change and abrupt changes, and when it happens the schedule don’t change,” Corbin said. “They don’t give you three, four days of practices to get ready. If the game is on the schedule that day, you play the game.”

31 Comments

  1. Abyss says:

    Harris can fill up DWill absense.. he’s a good player and still keep on growing every season. I remember him in Mavs as no man then traded to Nets and got his name. The problem now is the coach.. how can he rebuild the team

  2. Damian says:

    Deron is going to play out his contract with NJ and leave to Dallas to replace Kid. Watch and see, been a Jazz fan my whole life and saw that move coming for two years now. Mark Cuban wants D-Will and Deron wants to be in his home town of Dallas. Makes perfect logic to me. Sad to see him go but the Jazz brass had to protect themselves from being LeBroned or Melo’d.

  3. goojazz says:

    d will the best point guard in the leage!!! jersey fannz are lucky to get a player like him… forget carmelo u got D WILL.. WAYYY BETTER PLAYER.. DONT BELIVE ME?? LOOK AT THE STATS… CARMELO ONLY SCORES 4 POINTS MORE BUT EVERTHING ELSE D WILL IS BETTER ASSIST,STEALS,FG PERS.. FREE THROWS, N ALOT MORE… WE’LL MISS U D WILL…

    • Abyss says:

      because dwill is in PG and always has the ball… though his defense and assist is really big difference to anyone

  4. BALLER801 says:

    D WILL WE’LL MISS YOU BRO.. I HOPE U GET TO GO TO THE KNICKS IN THE FUTURE OR BE HAPPY WHERE EVER YOU ARE… YOULL MAKE THAT TEAM A CONTENDER… NEVER LIKED THE NETS.. BUT BIG NETS FANNN!!! GOO NETSS…

  5. josh says:

    rolling over in their graves is something the charles barkley and kenny the jet smith say about retired players…. why is everyone so offended haha?

  6. CoyotePretty says:

    Saying someone is rolling over in their graves when they are alive is just really stupid and disrespectful.

  7. JazzFan4Life says:

    With a lockout looming this was a wise move by the Jazz. D-Will said he would not sign an extension, he stated he wanted to “explore his options” at the end of his current contract….Which in turn, like Greg said, could lead to a Cav’s type scenario. Which as proven by there new record # of consecutive losses, is good for no one. Utah was losing with Sloan and losing with D-Will, as much as I loved them both in their “prime” with the Jazz it is time to move on…..

    With the recent moves in the league the Jazz still stand a good chance and making the playoffs, although a serious push is doubtful. The future is still quite bright for them….

  8. MNBBALL says:

    IT’S A GREAT TRADE.

    The NBA has shifted to a league where only large market teams will attract all-star players, without ANY exceptions, and it won’t just be one or two all stars, it’s three or four (don’t be surprised to see Chris Paul in a Knick jeresy next year, if there is a season).

    So for Utah to get a quality player, and the potential for drafting an all star, it’s a great move, because its as good as they can do. If you’re not the Knicks, Lakers, Heat, Bulls, Celtics… etc… your days of attracting an established superstar player is over. NBA=MLB

  9. jp009 says:

    For your information guys, the “Karl Malone and John Stockton are rolling over in their graves..” comment was a joke ..referring to the similar comments Charles Barkely makes every so often….so don’t take it too seriously. Jake, nurvana , Chench and anyone else who thinks he was serious.

  10. Ron says:

    Jerry Sloan lost control of the team long ago. D. Williams was not going to stay. Two lottery picks, Favors and Harris? Good move. Enjoy NJ Mr. Williams. I hear it’s real nice there.

  11. boom says:

    Jazz got stronger with this trade.

  12. Champkobe says:

    I dont think it was that bad of a deal. Harris and favors both have great potential, and harris has already shown that once. Both the nets and golden state picks will likely be a lottery pick, meaning that they can get quality players in the draft for the future if they pick wisely. Essensially, they traded williams for an up and coming all star, a big man with huge potential, and two players that will probably be at the very least solid role players

  13. Ray-ray and rip says:

    it’s probably not gonna change a lot for the nets. just a few more points….

  14. Dave says:

    When we see things like this happening in David Stern NBA how can we blame Lebron for what he did, I think Cleveland would do the same thing if Lebron decided he was not coming back before the season end. D-will is a great player I feel like he was punished but he will be alright

  15. RE_ALITY says:

    HE MUST HAVE BEEN BAD MOUTH TO THE ORGANISATION.

    NOT EVERYBODY GET’S MJ TREATMENT WHILE U ACT LIKE ARTEST.

    THE TRADE WAS NOT FAIR DEAL FOR JAZZ, BUT IF D WILL WAS A POISON WITHIN THE ORGANISATION THEN HE HAD TO BE SHIPPED FOR ALMOST NORTHING.
    DWILL FOR HARRIS…………. WOW ………….. DIDNT SEE THAT COMING……….

    JAZZ HAVE DEFINATELY LOWERED D WILLIAMS VALUE TO ATLEAST 40% DOWN WITH A SURPRISE TRADE SHOCKER….. THERE MUST BE A BUZZ IN ALL NBA OWNERS AS WE SPEAK…… GOODLUCK D WILL

  16. wadeonfiya says:

    come on the karl malone john stockton rolling over their graves? sheesh

  17. nurvana says:

    Karl Malone and John Stockton are rolling over in their graves?????????????? WTF

  18. newmike says:

    I think it is not a good idea in trading D-Will to Nets, hopefully Jazz can overcome it..

  19. Nick says:

    Not sure about this deal , they should have tied him down to a longer contract ! I know the nets are hoping to convince him into signing an extension next year , bit if he doesn’t then this deal will have become a bad trade !

  20. Paul says:

    If this only happened earlier, Sloan could have finished out the 1-year contract he started and probably improve the team with Harris happily listening and ecstatic about being on a playoff team with one of the league’s best coaches.
    The true Harris abilites will shine now. He is one of the most underrated players in the league.
    If Sloan were to come back now (though he won’t), that would have made Williams look like a bandit.

  21. Timothy says:

    It really almost seems like a good deal. They really did not want to be the next cavs. Smart move Jazz.

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  22. bart says:

    The power movement to the east which started last year is still continuing with melo and now d will. Curious what the future holds. Maybe we’ll see 8 teams above 0.500 in the east in a couple of years:o

  23. allaround baller says:

    I grew up watch 90s NBA, where star player stand up for his franchise and fans. Todays about $ and EGO

  24. Shocker11 says:

    Fair match. It’s time for both teams to act up and do something different this season. They are both in rebuilding mode which means that somebody must have their own scorer, the ball handler, the rebounder, the swingman, the defender and the star.

    Looking at the whole roster of both teams, Nets benefited, Utah may be a little shaken. I hope D Will – Brook Lopez chemistry would work-out and give a good spark in the offensive end. As for Utah, Harris will make a big impact to the whole team with his gameplay style in approach to the very heavy roster (Kirilenko, Okur, Jefferson)

  25. China says:

    To be honest, I dont mind D Will moving to New Jersey.
    I mean their starting 5 is gonna be pretty good.

    PG – D Will
    SG – Morrow
    SF – Outlaw
    PF – Humphries
    C – Lopez

    thats not a bad starting 5. Find 3 point Morrow on the wing, pick and roll with Lopez, Humphries runs the floor for alley oops and Outlaw doin his thing inside and out. NJ has really missed a guy who can really find their players. Harris was more of a scoring PG. The only thing that New Jersey doesnt have now is a supporting bench, thats where they could get robbed of games.

  26. bballer says:

    Deron Williams may not be so likely to complain next time as he is banished to purgatory – New Jersey. On the other hand he will have a lot to complain about now. Maybe the draft picks will enable the Jazz to pick up a quality player. The Jazz did make a big mistake by letting Wes Matthews go. They need that scorer.

  27. Jake says:

    Karl Malone and John Stockton aren’t dead yet, so I don’t know how they could be rolling over in their graves.

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