Remember when Deron Williams was traded from the Utah Jazz to the New Jersey Nets and no one had any idea it was going to happen until it did? That was crazy. Out-of-nowhere trades rarely happen in today’s NBA. Usually we have to wait for months of hemming and hawing and rejected proposals before it’s all said and done. Not this time. It was quick, unexpected and really pretty cool.

And it wasn’t just the fact that it was unexpected, either. It’s also that the Jazz actually traded their superstar, their cornerstone, their link to the Stockton-to-Malone days. It was incredible, and now that we’re a week removed from the trade, the details of what actually happened are coming out. In fact, the Salt Lake Tribune’s got an excellent blow-by-blow description of the inner workings behind the trade. The whole thing’s great, but this is the killer.

The Jazz had spent the weeks leading up to Anthony’s trade gauging Williams’ market value — a process that started after teams began dialing Utah’s number when news of Williams’ season long clashes with Sloan went public, as opponents tried to sweep in and steal the disgruntled guard.

Once Anthony was finally moved, the Jazz cashed in. Utah spent the night leading up to Williams’ trade contemplating the decision, weighing whether a team that started the season 27-13 was for real, or really just one that would face another disappointing first-round playoff exit. But once the Jazz realized what was on the table — a future-laden deal that contained as little risk as possible, and one that would immediately send Williams and his mounting problems packing —Utah did not hesitate.

Moreover, by intentionally keeping the trade as quiet as possible, the Jazz negated any leverage Williams still held. By not allowing him to first go public and back the organization into a corner if he disapproved of the move, Utah was able to completely elude the 24-7 Internet rumor mill and discreetly pull off the most shocking trade of the season.

That last part is the best part. The Jazz kept everything quiet, and by doing so, they were able to get a nice deal for their franchise guard. If any part of this had been leaked to the media, Williams’ trade value plummets and the Jazz end up with Jordan Farmar running the point. Not good, but yes good the way they handled it.

Go read the whole thing, it’s great. There are talks about when the Jazz knew it was time to get rid of Williams, about how the Jazz doubted him as a franchise player and even how their new head coach, Ty Corbin, didn’t know the trade was happening. Between this article and Adrian Wojnarowski telling theScore’s Bomani Jones that the Nets inquiring about Williams started as a joke, this is easily the most fascinating trade this season.

Comments (13)

  1. Brilliant move, trading away your franchise player without telling the coach or the player’s agent.

    While it may not have hurt in DWill’s case–his agent has one NBA client–how well do you think Dan Fagan or Jeff Schwartz take this if someone else tries it? It hurts the agent big time with their clients.

    As for Ty Corbin not knowing, that’s a big confidence builder for him. Avery Johnson said once King informed him the Nets were in talks, he went into KIng’s office and wouldn’t leave til it was done.

    The Jazz are about cutting costs. Its what they have done for more than a year. Anything to suggest otherwise is naive.

  2. How does his trade value plummet & they end up with Farmar running the point if anything was ever leaked? Denver got a pretty good haul for their superstar with everything being leaked at all times. Nice try though..

  3. That’s called an exaggeration.

  4. Waitaminute: I thought Jerry Sloan was the team’s link to the Stockton-to-Malone days.

  5. @ travis, his value plumets because the media starts making rumors hes only worth this or hes worth this much then the nets catch wind and lower or higher the deal accordingly. its basically negotating through the media. what we saw with the knicks was that and the inclusion of mosgov. nets upped their offer and the knicks had to do the same. keeping it quiet kep dwill fom saying he wouldnt sign an extention etc which also keeps his value alot higher

  6. If leaking the possibility of a superstar being traded lowers the value his team can get in return, why don’t potential trade partners get an anonymous friend to leak word that the superstar is being shopped? Trades are a zero-sum game, after all…

  7. Sucks to be a small market team.

  8. Yeah, great move for the Jazz. Give up the best point guard in the league for a guy who can’t stay healthy and a player at least 2 years away from being good. Draft picks are a crap shoot and nothing is guaranteed with them. They did save money and get money so yeah for the owner!

    No way his trade value plummets. If anything, it would be like the Carmelo situation where teams would be bidding against one another for his services. How many teams even knew Deron was available?

    This is pretty poor analysis imo. Great deal for New Jersey. Decent deal for Utah but who is to say they couldn’t have gotten more?

  9. As a Jazzfan I have to say I’m pretty impressed with this move. Given the uncertainty of next years season due to the potential lockout, and the relatively poor alternatives of other teams that could potentially be interested in a trade, I think the Jazz handled this well.

    We need the draft picks to have a chance at “rebuilding” but the Jazz also have an obligation to fans to have a decent team, especially given the precedent set by Jerry Sloan. I think Harris and Favors give us something immediately, while two great picks and potentially a third of our own give us something going forward.

    A risky move, but also a calculated one that is really trying to minimize risk. The Jazz management has been making bigger and bigger moves as the season progresses, and hopefully they’re going in the right direction.

  10. Deron Williams is a top 10 player. Deron Williams is, at best, the 2nd best PG in the league. He has tons of value, but they got a fairly good package for a superstar they felt they had to move.

  11. When a superstar wants out, hes the villain. When the team trades the superstar without even telling him, they are smart. Something wrong with this picture.

  12. [...] Nets, Utah Jazz on Mar 02, 2011 We already know how the Jazz’s end of the Deron Williams went down — they decided he wasn’t necessarily a franchise player so they moved him quickly, [...]

  13. Will you be talking more about this particular subject.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *