Trade specifics: New Jersey Nets acquire Deron Williams; Utah Jazz acquire Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, the Nets' 2011 first-round pick (unprotected), a 2012 first-round pick (top-seven protected) initially from the Golden State Warriors.
New Jersey Nets: Considering that this was the package the Nets were offering for Carmelo Anthony, it's a major coup to then use it to acquire a superior player. Williams has had issues with the Jazz this year, clashing with old coach Jerry Sloan and acting more turnover-prone, but he's still an elite point guard, a tremendous competitor and one of the most efficient high-usage scoring guards in the league. He's also taken his team further than Anthony in the playoffs, and it's a lot easier to find the kind of players to slot around him.
The big question, though, is whether Williams will stay with the Nets long term. He issued a de-facto ultimatum to them at his introductory press conference that the roster needed to be upgraded, and the Nets don't have a ton of assets left to do that thanks to some bad contracts handed out last summer. This would be one thing if the Nets were at .500, like the Knicks, but they're 17-40. A lot of work still needs to be done.
That said, you have to make this trade. The superstar is the foundation, and Williams is more of a superstar than Anthony. Grade: A
Utah Jazz: The Jazz deserve a ton of credit for forseeing a potential problem and getting a lot of value back for their superstar that was likely to leave anyway. You could argue that they didn't do enough to surround Williams with proper talent before this, but that's a different argument altogether. The fact of the matter is that they were barely in the playoffs this year and had little means to improve, so they push the reset button and got a great return.
Favors is young (19), big and full of upside, though he's struggled a bit this year. These are guys teams take chances on whenever they can. Harris is a bit injury-prone, but he's still an above-average point guard only two years removed from an all-star berth. The Nets have been a mess since, which has affected him. In 2009/10, Harris was one of two NBA-caliber players on the roster, and this season, he's clashed with coach Avery Johnson. Playing in Utah should help his production. Both draft picks are likely to be high ones as well.
It's a much better package than the Nuggets got for Anthony, and given that they stood a huge risk of losing Williams anyway for nothing next season, they did well to begin the rebuilding process. The only reason they didn't get an A is that they didn't follow the move up with more trades of their other long-term, high-salary players. Grade: A-