Spurned by Carmelo Anthony, Mikhail Prokhorov and the New Jersey Nets are nevertheless on the verge of a shocking blockbuster trade. They are about to acquire Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz for a package centered around Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first-round picks, according to reports by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and the Bergen Record's Al Iannazzone. The Nets will also send Troy Murphy to the Golden State Warriors for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.
The package is very similar to the one the Nets were offering for Anthony, but Williams may end up being the better fit. He has struggled through a frustrating year in which he was accused by many of orchestrating the resignation of longtime coach Jerry Sloan, but he is the same age as Anthony and has put up better numbers over the course of his career. There were whispers that Williams would go to the Knicks next year once his contract is up after 2012, so the Nets jumping the gun and acquiring him now is a major, major coup.
In return, the Jazz will get a nice package of assets for a player that could have easily left after next season. Harris is a competent point guard that has fallen out of favor in New Jersey, while Favors is the kind of young big man every team covets. The first-round picks will help the Jazz rebuild around Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Utah was fading from the playoff picture and had few assets to improve, so they needed to start the rebuilding process.
Still, this is a huge coup for the Nets. Williams is a better player than Anthony, and it was done without all the drama and fanfare of the Anthony situation. After seemingly embarrassing himself all season, Prokhorov has redeemed himself and his team tremendously.