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Sports Blog

It's an Ill Trade Wind That Blows No Good: Deron William leaving

by Rachel Piper
- Posted // 2011-02-23 - I hope you Jazz fans didn’t drink all of your beer/wine/whiskey during the Jerry Sloan fracas two weeks ago, because today you’ll need to pour yourself another glass—whether it’s to celebrate or to mourn.

Today the Utah Jazz have a trade in the works to send Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets. In return they’ll get Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two first-round draft picks and $3 million in cash.

No one knows – or is telling -- how this trade came about. But if you, like me, believe that Jerry Sloan’s departure was a result of Deron Williams’ passive-aggressive (or just plain aggressive) actions, the deal seems a little … unexpected, especially if it was initiated by Kevin O’Connor and not Williams himself (who just this week shot down a Knicks trade rumor “like a game-winning 3-pointer”).

If you’re in the “Sloan or Bust” camp, this might be good news. D-Will was a punk who would have left us in 2012 anyway. Good riddance to him. Have fun in New Jersey, sucka. Is it too late to get Jerry back?

To others, though, this is one more nail in the Jazz coffin, another clue that the Jazz management is off its rocker. Did Kevin O’Connor side with Deron Williams over Jerry Sloan, then just two weeks later ship off Williams to save a few bucks? Why are we sending away one of the best point guards in the nation in exchange for an OK guard, ANOTHER forward, some dubious (given O’Connor history) draft prospects and a bag of cash? None of this would have happened under Larry Miller!

One thing everyone can agree on is that none of what’s happened in the past month has been good for the short-term strength of the team. It’s likely the team will miss the playoffs this year, but we still might have if Williams had stuck around. Maybe Harris and Favors will be players who the fans and team can rally around. Maybe this is a move that’ll be good for the franchise in the long term. But really, when have Jazz fans cared about the long term?

And, perhaps more importantly, is there a long term for the Jazz franchise? Larry Miller sacrificed a lot in the early years to make the Jazz a viable franchise for Salt Lake City. The current ownership and management might not have that same goal. Gail Miller and Greg Miller lived through the lean years when the Jazz were struggling. They might not want to live through more.

NBA trades are complicated, and I’m the first to admit that I don’t fully understand them. Neither do 99 percent of the people speculating on Twitter and Facebook right now. But I know this is a big deal for Jazz fans, and we’re nothing if not a noisy, opinionated group. So, what are your thoughts on this debacle?

I know for sure that Monday’s game against the Celtics will be a strange world. No Sloan, no Williams. And while Sloan stayed out of the limelight, Williams was, literally, the face of the Jazz. Every program, schedule and promotional spot on the JumboTron featured Williams’ smug face. Right now, I'm thinking I won’t miss it that much. But I might very soon.
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Posted // February 23,2011 at 23:04

Time to rebuild and jazz fans are going to have to get use to it. Teams don't win titles without superstars, and the Jazz won't get far without any. Maybe the draft picks will pan out. Maybe someone will develop into something great. Too many unknowns. If the Jazz put a poor product on the floor, the fans won't come out.


Posted // February 23,2011 at 13:52


Deron wasn't going anywhere this summer. He is a free agent in 2012. Also, for what it's worth, the Jazz only get the Warriors' 2012 pick if it's not a top-7 pick. So, obviously, the trade is more complicated than you thought it was.

As to whether or not the Millers would ever sell, no, it doesn't seem likely. Neither did Jerry Sloan deciding to quit after a midseason game.

Glad you liked the trade, though. Cheers.


Posted // February 23,2011 at 18:00 - I don't think they will have to support very many losing seasons. They will win 50 games again this year, and should still be solid. A good draft and a free agent and they will be a Western Conference contender again. All I am saying is the sky is not falling.


Posted // February 23,2011 at 16:56 - The Trib's credibility is another issue altogether, but I'm confused as to how they come into this. The franchise leaving Salt Lake City down the line is my own wild speculation, based on the Jazz being a small market whose fans won't support many losing seasons, plus its ownership changing.


Posted // February 23,2011 at 16:26 - Actually it IS that simple. It's still two 1st round picks. The money works and D Will would be gone next year whether you believe it or not... traded before his free agency opt out. Doing it now gets them a greater return. Jerry Sloan is 70 years old, and you think that because he retired, the Jazz will move. Just because someone at the Trib thinks it might happen, does not give it credibility.


Posted // February 23,2011 at 13:12

This trade isn't complicated. It's pretty simple.

D Will and his 14 mil salary, traded for Favors and Harris, a combined 13 mil salary. In addition, the Jazz get $3 mil, and 2 first round draft picks that could become 2 starters. Harris is good, not as good as Deron, but good. Favors is young, but could be great in a year or two. More importantly, Deron Williams would NOT be in a Jazz uniform next year if they didn't trade him. GREAT trade for the Jazz. Jazz fans should be happy. And this hinting that the Millers might move or sell is complete nonsense. It will never happen.


Posted // February 23,2011 at 12:22

Part of the story when Sloan first retired was that he had had a conversation with O'Connor that included discussion of a big trade. Perhaps the reason Sloan left was that he did not want to be stuck rebuilding in a post-Williams era. Jazz management waited a couple weeks to finalize the trade because they did not want it to look like the sky was falling with their coach resigning because they traded their big star. That makes a lot more sense than saying Sloan left because he suddenly had thin skin.