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Forget Derrick Favors. Forget the first-round draft picks.
All the Jazz needed to replace a regarded cancer was Devin Harris. And he'll fill in nicely even without all the additional love the Nets threw away.
First, there are the statistics. Deron Williams averages seven points and three assists more than Harris, roughly, per game.
When you consider the fact that Williams is making $6 million more than Harris for the year, you can throw away seven points and three assists.
No NBA player would ever be offered $6 million bucks by any owner who thought that the result would be seven points and three assists. Raja Bell makes half that for similar production and he's considered to be underachieving.
Next season Williams will out-earn Harris by seven million dollars and by nearly $10 million in 2013 if he doesn't exercise his player-option and search for greener pastures. Those years will be Harris' prime years.
But throw away finances too.
Harris is helping the Jazz build a post-Williams culture, one that isn't plagued with referee-player stare-offs. He's pushing the ball and cracked the starting rotation in league's most difficult offense in only his second game as a Jazzman.
Harris is only two years removed from being an All-Star. His numbers have dipped because he's been playing in New Jersey and with some of the lowest-grade, collective basketball players that the NBA has to offer. Now that he's stepping into a winning culture, albeit a currently struggling culture, the expectations for him to succeed are rising.
And he's taking those expectations personally and responded to the trade by saying that he was brought in to Utah to make sure they made the playoffs, not for another rebuilding project.
Translation: Harris is treating the situation as if Jazz ownership believes he can offer the Jazz more than Deron Williams did.
Even if that's not management's direct intention, that's the type of fire and leadership that the Jazz need and have needed all season. It can't hurt to have a player that puts responsibility on himself publicly and before things settle.
Plus, with that type of attitude from the team's engine and having the Jazz' possession-by-possession fate in his hands, Harris has established himself as a natural leader.
The culture is changing, or maybe it's simply returning. Either way, Deron Williams is almost already an afterthought in the Beehive State.