February 23, 2011
• The news that Deron Williams(notes) was traded to the Nets was as surprising as Carmelo Anthony(notes) leaving the Nuggets was inevitable. Even Williams himself had no clue. The Nets are involved in two seperate deals, with Williams of course as the headliner. Per Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Utah Jazz have agreed to deal All-Star point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets in a trade that will send Derrick Favors(notes), Devin Harris(notes), and two first-round draft picks to Utah, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
As reported Tuesday, the Nets are also close to receiving forward Brandan Wright(notes) and center Dan Gadzuric(notes) from the Golden State Warriors in a separate trade that sends the Warriors forward Troy Murphy(notes). New Jersey will also send $3 million to the Jazz.
New Jersey Nets
PG: Deron Williams, Jordan Farmar(notes), Ben Uzoh(notes)
SG: Anthony Morrow(notes), Sasha Vujacic(notes), Damion James(notes)
SF: Travis Outlaw(notes), Quinton Ross(notes), Stephen Graham(notes)
PF: Kris Humphries(notes), Brandan Wright
C: Brook Lopez(notes), Johan Petro(notes)
Upgrade Lopez, Morrow, and Humphries (and everyone else) now that they are running alongside Deron instead of Devin. Lopez in particular should benefit from this deal, as we should see plenty of pick-and-rolls and two-man game in general. Wright isn't held in the same repute as Favors, so Humphries should play plenty down the stretch. Avery Johnson has been all over the map with this team this season, but having a player like Williams now running the show should allow him to mellow out a bit and let these guys play.
PG: Devin Harris, Earl Watson(notes), Ronnie Price(notes)
SG: Raja Bell(notes), C.J. Miles(notes)
SF: Andrei Kirilenko(notes), Gordon Hayward(notes)
PF: Paul Millsap(notes), Derrick Favors, Jeremy Evans(notes)
C: Al Jefferson(notes), Mehmet Okur(notes), Kyrylo Fesenko(notes), Francisco Elson(notes)
Downgrade the Jazz notables (Jefferson, Millsap, Kirilenko) for the same reasons you upgrade the Nets - Harris is solid enough and averaging a career-high 7.6 assists, but he's no Deron. This is a shaken organization and roster, with their long-time coach and all-world point guard gone within a matter of weeks. The Jazz could also make another move or two before the deadline, with AK (definitely) and Millsap (possibly) on the block.
Golden State Warriors
PG: Stephen Curry(notes), Acie Law(notes), Charlie Bell(notes), Jeremy Lin(notes)
SG: Monta Ellis(notes), Reggie Williams(notes)
SF: Dorell Wright(notes), Vladimir Radmanovic(notes)
PF: David Lee(notes), Louis Amundson(notes), Troy Murphy
C: Andris Biedrins(notes), Ekpe Udoh(notes)
Nothing really changes for the Warriors, as Wright barely played and they are expected to buy out Murphy. He'd then be free to sign a minimum offer with any contender - Miami, Dallas, Orlando, and Boston are mentioned as potential destinations. Dallas and Boston seem the better of those possibilities for fantasy purposes, but he's barely seen the court this season and is headed for a bench role in any case, so expectations should be held in check.
• The Kings and Hornets have also agreed to a trade, with Carl Landry(notes) heading to New Orleans in exchange for Marcus Thornton(notes). The Hornets felt that they had enough options on the wings and clearly lacked depth behind David West(notes), which Landry will help address. Thornton could emerge as the starting shooting guard for the Kings, particularly with Tyreke Evans'(notes) status being very uncertain. Thornton's career per-30 minute averages include 16.2 points, 1.7 threes, 3.9 boards, and 0.9 steals, and there is clearly offensive talent here. In the free agent add hierachy, I'd rank him behind Tony Allen(notes) but ahead of someone like Ersan Ilyasova(notes). Landry technically fills a need for the Hornets but could struggle to match his current average of 27 minutes per game when both West and Emeka Okafor(notes) are healthy.
• Other status updates: Joakim Noah(notes) will be back in the lineup for the Bulls Wednesday ... Marcus Camby(notes) is doubtful, Brandon Roy(notes) is probable for Wednesday ... Emeka Okafor practiced the past two days but isn't likely to play Wednesday ... Mo Williams(notes) didn't practice Tuesday and remains questionable for Wednesday ... Stephen Jackson's(notes) hamstring injury isn't serious and he's expected to play Friday ... Kirk Hinrich(notes) (calf) is doubtful for Wednesday.
• Wednesday's notable matchups: The new Knicks play their first game against the team giving up the third-fewest points, on average (MIL, 92.7) ... Start all available Rockets (@CLE) and Grizzlies (@MIN) ... Most obvious clashes of styles: CHI@TOR, LAC@NOR, ATL@PHO ... DeMarcus Cousins(notes) is going to have his hands full (@ORL) ... The Pacers are looking to score more than 100 points for the 12th consecutive game (DET).
These and many more topics will be discussed in the Wednesday live blog, so stop by and participate in the discussion or just lurk and take it all in. We'll get started at 7pm PT/10pm ET.
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