The New Jersey Nets have agreed to a three-way deal involving the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets that would send swingman Terrence Williams to Houston in return for Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and a 2012 first-round pick. Journeyman Joe Smith would head over to the Lakers, who would give the Nets a 2011 first-rounder.
The deal cannot be finalized until Wednesday, the first day all free agents signed over the summer, including Joe Smith, can be traded.
It should come as no surprise to Nets fans that Williams is on his way out. He has demonstrated constant behavioral problems since being drafted last year, and recently found himself deep in coach Avery Johnson's doghouse—which happens to be the D-League.
The young high-flyer definitely has potential, but it is apparent that the Nets do not wish to wait around until he decides to use it.
In the short run, this trade makes sense for New Jersey. With Damion James out six-to-eight weeks with a broken foot, the Nets are even thinner in the backcourt (assuming Williams would not see substantial minutes for disciplinary reasons).
Vujacic, who was the fifth guard in a four guard rotation in Los Angeles, should add some needed stability and skill, but also a bit of chemistry. He and Farmar were teammates in Los Angeles until Farmar signed with the Nets this past offseason.
With Anthony Morrow leaving tonight's game with a tweaked hamstring, Vujacic has the chance to make an immediate impact with the Nets, if and when the trade does go through.
While this does help the Nets at the moment, it is definitely a step back in the long run. In an ideal world, Williams and Derrick Favors would develop into solid starters within two years, allowing the Nets to splurge on a premier small forward, solidifying the team.
Now the Nets have lost a promising piece of their young core and must hope for solid picks in the upcoming draft.
In my opinion, Houston won out on this deal. If they can straighten Terrence out, they have a possible all-star on their hands.