Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and a draft pick. This deal could instantly swap the fortunes of the Nets and the Utah Jazz.
Williams has clearly been the best player on the Jazz over the last few years. He made them competitive in a conference that has swallowed up pretenders for years.
Following the retirement of coach and Utah basketball icon Jerry Sloan, many wondered how much longer Williams would be on the team.
Well, today we have our answer.
The arrival of Williams will instantly make the rest of New Jersey's roster better. His departure from Utah will instantly make the rest of that roster worse.
That is what a great point guard does. And Deron Williams is arguably the best one in the league.
In the aftermath of this huge deal, I'm going to compare the two teams involved at each position.
Advantage: New Jersey
Right now, I should probably give Utah a very slight edge in this matchup. However, the arrival of Williams will push Lopez to a new level.
The averages of Lopez and Jefferson are almost identical in terms of field goals made and attempted per game. Lopez averages a couple more points per game thanks to free throws.
Where Jefferson has an edge is his rebounding. He plays alongside a great rebounder in Paul Millsap and still averages over nine a game.
Lopez is a terrible rebounder for his size. A 7' center should absolutely be pulling down more than 5.8 rebounds a game.
Like I said in the intro to this slideshow though, Williams is going to make Lopez a much better player. He's going to get looks he could only dream of while playing with Devin Harris.
Don't be surprised if the Nets center averages well over 20 points a game in what remains of New Jersey's season.
Hear me out on this...
Millsap's numbers may look a lot better on the surface, but you may be surprised by how productive Kris Humphries is.
When you compare the two players numbers per 36 minutes, you could make a compelling argument for the Nets power forward (who will almost definitely be the starter following Derrick Favors' departure).
The two players' field goal percentages are virtually identical, but Millsap takes about twice as many shots per game (thus explaining him averaging almost twice as many points).
The big difference comes in rebounding and blocked shots. Humphries averages 13.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes. Millsap averages 8.2 and 0.9 in the same categories.
You could say that Millsap playing alongside Jefferson has a lot to do with his dip in rebounding, but that much of a difference has to mean something.
Humphries has been very solid all year, and could see a significant boost in production now. He should get more minutes with the new makeup of the Nets roster, and he'll be on the floor with one of the game's best distributors for those minutes.
Call this the battle of the guys who didn't live up to their contracts.
They're both making a lot more money than their numbers seem to warrant. However, Kirilenko still brings a lot of versatility and intangibles to the table for Utah.
He is better than Outlaw in every major statistical category (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and every form of shooting percentages).
This matchup could be different 24 hours from now. Many thought Utah would be their typically quiet selves at the deadline, but they proved us wrong. Now, one has to wonder if Kirilenko's $17 million expiring contract will be moved as well.
Advantage: New Jersey
This one is as lopsided as Kirilenko vs. Outlaw (only this time New Jersey has the advantage).
Morrow is not only a better shooter than Bell, he's a better shooter than most of the NBA. He's averaging 12.5 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent shooting from three-point range.
He also averages more rebounds per game than Bell.
As is the case with every remaining Nets player, he'll look a lot better once he starts playing with Deron Williams.
Advantage: New Jersey
Is this one as obvious as it seems? Yes, of course it is.
Deron Williams is arguably the best point guard in the NBA. He can score inside and out, distribute the ball and plays tough on-ball defense.
I'll spare you the statistical comparison between Harris and Williams, just know that D-Will's numbers are much better.
And this may surprise you, but Williams is actually a year younger than Harris.
The only possible downside to this has to do with New Jersey's future. Right now, there's no guarantee Williams will stay with this team when his contract expires in 2012.
For now, this deal is fantastic for the Nets. So good in fact, that they will be firmly in playoff contention next season.
Neither Derrick Favors nor Gordon Hayward have showed a whole lot this season, but they still have the potential to be solid NBA players.
C.J. Miles, Ronnie Price and Earl Watson are all solid as well.
Other than Jordan Farmar, New Jersey doesn't have much to speak of in terms of bench players right now.
Mikhail Prokhorov and the New Jersey Nets made a great deal for themselves today.
Deron Williams coming to the Nets makes them playoff contenders as early as next year, and most likely leaves Utah in a state of disarray.
Who knows what Utah's plan is now? Maybe they're hoping for a miracle and looking to snag Jimmer Fredette in the draft.
New Jersey's plan? Re-sign Williams. If they can do that and add one more piece over the next year or two, they could be major players in the Eastern Conference.
They may have missed out on Carmelo Anthony yesterday, but they definitely got a better player today.