Nets Trade Terrence Williams To Rockets, Joe Smith To Lakers

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Will Joe Smith Factor Into Lakers' Rotation After Trade From Nets?

The Lakers picked up Joe Smith in the three-team Terrence Williams trade executed with the Rockets and Nets Tuesday night. Sasha Vujacic had fallen out of favor in Los Angeles the past two seasons, slipping behind Shannon Brown, most notably, on the depth chart.

Until Andrew Bynum's return to action Tuesday, the Lakers did struggle with frontcourt depth, however. Will Smith find himself earning minutes behind Bynum, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derrick Caracter? SB Nation blog Silver Screen And Roll thinks the trade could be bad news for Derrick Caracter:

It's not a great day to be Derrick Caracter. Don't get me wrong, the kid is still blessed to have a guaranteed contract as a member of the defending champs, and his future is still as bright as one can reasonably expect from the 58th overall selection, but dude just went from 3rd on the depth chart to 5th in 24 hours. The addition of Smith also indicates that the Lakers have little hope of contribution from Theo Ratliff.

Caracter has appeared in 22 games for the Lakers this season, but has totaled up just 148 minutes. Considering all those minutes came with Bynum out, and the excellent and vital Odom starting at power forward instead of coming off the bench as a sixth man, perhaps the trade will have nothing to do with Caracter's pending disappearance. Gasol and Odom are huge minute-soakers, and Phil Jackson simply may not need to go deeper than three up front most nights.

Smith, the No. 1 pick overall in 1995, hasn't played much since the 2008-09 season, where he split time with the Thunder and Cavaliers. He signed a minimum-value free agent contract with the Hawks last season but rarely played; the same can be said of this season with the Nets. Smith did start the first three games of the season for New Jersey, but was quickly replaced by Kris Humphries and pushed below touted rookie Derrick Favors in the rotation.


Report: Nets Discussing Trade To Send Terrence Williams To Rockets

New Jersey Nets wing Terrence Williams could be headed to the Houston Rockets in a three-way trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Williams, the Nets' lottery pick in 2009, has had friction with Nets coach Avery Johnson, and earlier this season became the first NBA player demoted to the D-League for disciplinary reasons. He has been on the edge of Johnson's rotation in New Jersey, losing minutes to free agent pick-up Travis Outlaw and defender Quinton Ross, among others.

In the proposed trade, Williams would look like find a spot in the NBA under the watchful eye of Rick Adelman. Williams would be reunited with Courtney Lee, a teammate on the awful 2009-10 Nets, and would have to find minutes behind Shane Battier, Kevin Martin, Lee and Chase Budinger.

Sasha Vujacic would go to the Nets in the deal as reported by Wojnarowski, and veteran Joe Smith would be sent back to Los Angeles. Smith and Vujacic have expiring contracts; Williams is owed $2.4 million next season, with a $3.1 million team option available for the 2012-13.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle also reports that the Rockets would send New Jersey a second-round draft pick, and has a deal in place to move seldom-used Jermaine Taylor in order to clear a roster spot for Williams.

Vujacic has fallen out of favor in L.A., appearing predominantly in garbage time these days. He had a major role on the Lakers' 2007-08 Finals team, averaging 20 minutes a game in the postseason. But Lakers coach Phil Jackson has relied more on Shannon Brown over the last two seasons and change.

Smith, a 15-year veteran, signed a minimum-value contract with New Jersey this summer, and has been submerged deep on Johnson's bench since the first week of the season. It's unclear whether he would stay on L.A.'s roster or be waived at some point.

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