The Jerry Sloan situation was pretty messed up but never in my wildest dreams think that Utah would trade away their star player.
Analysis: Deron has been one of the top point guards in the league this season, putting up his best number yet. Before the trade Deron was averaging over 21 points and almost 10 assists a game. Throw in his respectable shooting percentages for a point guard and Deron is easily a top 10 fantasy player in this league. New Jersey does not have the talent on its roster that Utah had and I expect this to impact Deron in a few different ways. I expect Deron will improve his scoring, because he no longer has Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson on his team to pass to, and will thus take more of his own shots. I don’t think his assists will drop that significantly either, mostly because of Brook Lopez. While Lopez’s rebounding has fallen off the map his scoring has gone up a little more and I expect it to climb even further with Deron dishing out assists. I still don’t know why Utah gave up such a star player when he still had 2 years left on his contract, but the Sloan situation and the trade suggest that perhaps something is amiss with the great point guard.
Projection: I think as the season progresses we’ll hear more about the Deron/Sloan situation and I don’t think it will shine a nice light on Deron. However he will continue to put up the stats he always has, and with his ability to stay on the court, owners of Deron Williams have nothing to fear.
The decks have been re-shuffled and its a race to the finish in the Association!
For months we heard rumors of the final destination of Carmelo Anthony. New York, New Jersey, back and forth, who would it be. As the world knows, the Knicks won the prize, but across the river, it was the Nets setting the bar with a shocking trade for mega point guard Deon Williams. The Williams deal surprised everyone, no rumors, mock salary cap experts making it balance. Simply done deal.
How did the projected playoff teams fare? We start atop the Atlantic Division with Boston. Not unlike The Deron Deal, The Celtics surpised the NBA world by shipping their big body in the middle, Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City. It was certainly no secret the C’s wanted a reliable swing man to back up Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but not by parting with the blue collar glue that bonded the four All-Stars together. From a fantasy perspective don’t expect the numbers to change much. Perkins will continue to rebound and man the middle, while Jeff Green’s shots will be limited for many of the same reasons he had to share in Oklahoma. Atlanta was the other big mover in the East. The Hawks finally getting a point guard that can do it all. Kirk Hinrich brings leadership, a strong on ball perimeter defense and the ability to both distribute and score. Hinrich’s assist numbers should explode and Atlanta’s big three of Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smith should see increased scoring numbers across the board. Out West, watch out Lakers, yes that Thunder you hear in the distance is coming from Oklahoma. Not only did OK City acquire Perkins but another big body in Nazr Mohammed. Nazr won’t bring you any fantasy numbers, but does bring the body to help Perk bang the Duncan’s, Dirk’s and Gasol’s of the West. Portland pulls in best supporting actor out West, adding the mercurial Gerald Wallace. Wallace will continue to stash multiple fantasy categories and provides some insurance for the hobbled Brandon Roy. Like New Jersey in the East, Denver did what it had to do to salvage value for Deron getting a future fantasy stud in Derrick Favors. For now, Devin Harris assumes Williams’ assists while Favors continues to develop. The focus now shifts from the trade chat rooms to the court for what promises to be one of the more anticipated post-seasons in years.
Wow, didn’t see that one coming…. Or should we have?
Deron Williams joins the New Jersey Nets as the marquee player they desired to open their new digs in Brooklyn a year and a half from now. After Carmelo Anthony opted for the New York Knicks, the Nets snuck in the back door to get one of the top young point guards in the game. Nets management has been trumpeting their ability to drive up the Knicks price for Melo and it looks like they were right. Williams was, and still may be, one of the big free agent targets on the horizon along with Orlando’s Dwight Howard and New Orleans’ Chris Paul. It appears to be a bargain for the Nets, compared to the fortune given up by the Knicks.
For the now, the Nets have a great young building block at the two most important and hardest to fill positions in the NBA. Center Brook Lopez and Williams combine to form a centerpiece that will certainly entice other talent around the league to come join them. Extending Williams is the key. Deron has a player option for free agency after next season, but the Nets cannot extend his current deal until this Summer.
Devin Harris will be the key to Utah’s side of things. Rookie forward Derrick Favors is a great building block for the Jazz, but the immediate lies in Harris’ ability to handle the point. Utah also gets New Jersey’s 1st round draft pick, Golden State’s 1st round in 2012 and $3 million in cash. Favors adds to an already promising young front court with Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.