Feb. 23, 2011: Nets GM Billy King goes into stealth mode and surprises everyone, trading for Jazz point guard Deron Williams. In exchange, King sends Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round picks (Enes Kanter and Gorgui Deng, who was eventually dealt in a package for Trey Burke) to Utah.
Feb. 19, 2014: Almost three years later, Williams returns to Utah for the third time, looking for his first win as a visitor at EnergySolutions Arena.
In between, obviously, a lot has happened. The Nets have moved to Brooklyn, overhauled their roster and become a playoff team, while the Jazz continue to try and rebuild.
On Monday, Grantland’s Bill Simmons listed Williams’ contract as the fifth-worst in the NBA. Meanwhile, the promising Favors (22) and Kanter (21) are still young and developing, and it remains to be seen just how good they can become.
When the Nets got Williams, it was a big deal. They had just missed out on Carmelo Anthony but struck quickly to land themselves a superstar. Williams was considered a top-10 NBA player at the time, right up there with Chris Paul for top point guard.
King was confident the Nets would be able to re-sign Williams, and they did just that.
Problem is, Williams has been hurt throughout his tenure as a Net, and Brooklyn has yet to win a postseason series with him.
So far, at least in my opinion, it’s tough to say who “won” this trade. And we probably won’t know the answer for a few years.
Question: Three years later, what do you think about the trade?
Stat right? Williams and Andrei Kirilenko have yet to beat their former team at EnergySolutions Arena (both 0-2).
Up next: Nets at Jazz Wednesday night