In a move that came completely out of nowhere, the New Jersey Nets have acquired Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams.
The Nets will be sending Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first-round picks to Utah, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard. New Jersey has also worked out another deal in which they are receiving Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Troy Murphy.
The biggest piece in this is clearly Williams, who had apparently burned all bridges in Utah. There's no doubt as to what type of player he is, however, the Nets need to worry about signing him to an extension once the new CBA is in place.
Much like what happened with Williams and the Jazz, Harris' relationship with the Nets had soured as a result of his name constantly being brought up in trade rumors, leaving the team no option other than to trade him, and they upgraded the position in doing so.
Williams, averaging 21.3 PPG and 9.7 APG this season, is an elite point guard who both scores and distributes better than Harris. He shoots a higher percentage in all areas, gets to the free-throw line more often and is at least as good a defender as Harris.
Williams also has a good amount of playoff experience from his time in Utah. Bringing in players who know how to win is never a bad thing.
New Jersey has been attempting to move Favors all season, and, although he has potential, the team did well to get such a good player in return.
What this means for the Nets right now is that Kris Humphries will likely jump back into the starting lineup, where he belongs. Favors may have all the talent in the world, but he often seemed to lack the desire and energy required to be a great player.
While Humphries will never be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he provides constant hustle and should, along with Williams, bring some life back into the starting lineup.
The benefit to the team with Williams is obvious, and the Nets also got themselves a young man with potential in Wright.
They could have simply done the deal for salary reasons as Wright could become a free agent this summer, but he is a good shot-blocker who can finish around the rim and run the floor.
If the Nets decide they would like to part ways with Wright over the summer, there are still a number of very good power forwards who could enter the draft this year, including Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones.
While it's unclear at this moment which picks the Nets are sending to Utah, they still have extras and could trade up this year if need be.
We must also remember that rookie Damion James is set to replace Travis Outlaw in the starting five, so the Nets lineup should look like this at tip-off Friday night: Williams at point guard, Anthony Morrow at shooting guard, James at small forward, Humphries at power forward and Brook Lopez at center.
Williams has a great deal of knowledge on how to run the pick-and-roll as well, a trait that should come in handy being that Nets coach Avery Johnson uses the tactic often.
Results can't be expected immediately as it will take some time for all the players to adjust to each other, but the Nets have dramatically improved their team with this trade.
They got the All-Star-caliber player they were looking for prior to their move to Brooklyn, something that will help them not only sell tickets, but attract other free agents as well.
It appears much of the trade talk surrounding the Nets recently was merely a smokescreen, as there was never even a whisper about this move happening. There could also be an argument made that the Nets actually got themselves a better player than the man they were after in Carmelo Anthony.
Williams may not be the scorer Anthony is, but he is the better all-around player.
Well played, sirs. Well played.