The New Jersey Nets Gave Up Too Much For Deron Williams

February 23, 2011 – 4:40 pm by Ryan Phillips

Today’s out of freaking nowhere trade that sent Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets did more than just initially shock people, hours after the deal was consummated, I’m still shaking my head. The bottom line on this one is that the Nets sent way too much to the Utah Jazz for the two-time All-Star point guard.

In return for Williams the Nets sent Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two first-round draft picks and $3 million to Utah. If you include Favors – who was the No. 3 pick in the 2010 draft – the Nets gave up Devin Harris and what could be three lottery picks in return for Williams, who can opt out of his contract at the end of next season. Don’t get me wrong, Williams is a great player. He’s currently averaging¬† 21.3 points, 9.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game and has a PER of 22.17. But initial reports say he was shocked and upset when hearing he was headed to New Jersey. That doesn’t bode well for this marriage’s future.

Unlike the Carmelo Anthony deal, which was essentially an “extend and trade” situation, Williams isn’t even extension-eligible until July 9. That means he can just play out the next year and a half with the Nets, opt out of his contract and head somewhere else. Or he can do what Anthony did and force a trade to somewhere he wants to be.

The Nets are banking on their ability to convince the 26-year-old to sign an extension. That’s probably a bad bet. Williams, a Texas native, would like to be somewhere warmer, and the Los Angeles Clippers could have cap space available in 2012. He might be looking to create his own “Big Three” with budding stars Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin in Hollywood.

In addition to the Williams deal, the Nets also sent Troy Murphy’s expiring contract to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright. That deal I actually like.

While Gadzuric is just an extra post body, Wright actually has potential. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2007 draft has never really gotten a chance to play with the Warriors. In 98 career games he’s averaged just 12.8 minutes per game. A move might bring something out of him. In any case, it’s certainly worth the gamble of Murphy’s expiring deal.

Meanwhile, the Jazz are going to spend the next few hours trying to figure out a way to move Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko and Raja Bell’s contracts.

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