Collecting Assets

Photo: Melissa Majchrzak NBAE/Getty ImagesPhoto: Melissa Majchrzak NBAE/Getty Images

What does an All-Star point guard cost in a league where free agency and the draft remain the best way to collect superstars? A lot. Ask the Brooklyn Nets.

Jazz fans will always remember the turmoil of the 2011 season. The Jazz were a perennial playoff team and had experienced a fair amount of playoff success in the years leading up to the 2010-2011 season.

At the time the franchise had two faces, all-star point guard Deron Williams and head coach Jerry Sloan. Sloan had been on the Jazz bench longer than anyone in professional sports. Williams was the key to turning the Jazz back into a real threat after Karl Malone and John Stockton ended their unprecedented run in Utah.

In a matter of weeks Sloan hung up the clipboard for good and the Jazz shipped Williams East, to the Nets. The trade happened very quickly after the New York Knicks landed Carmelo Anthony in a massive nine player trade.

Two and a half years later with the Jazz facing Deron Williams, let’s rehash exactly what the Jazz ended up with in the trade. It’s worth noting that had they kept Williams, he was under contract for one more year then could have disappeared leaving the Jazz with zero assets to compensate.

Kevin O‘Connor has said on several occasions that Williams never threatened to leave at the end of his contract, but he also never promised to stay with the Jazz. So let’s take a look at what the Jazz did haul-in from the fiasco that was February, 2011.

Losing a point guard, the Jazz gained a former all-star replacement in Devin Harris. Obviously not on Williams’ level, Harris struggled with the Jazz and never came close to regaining his all-star form. The Jazz eventually traded Harris for wingman Marvin Williams (so in the long run we did end up with a Williams if a name is important to you).

Let’s keep a running tally of what the Jazz received from the team formerly of New Jersey: Marvin Williams

Another player, rather than asset, the Jazz picked-up was power forward Derrick Favors. At the time he was a third overall pick with size and potential, but not much else. Heading into his fourth year in the league he is proving to be a defensive force and powerful rebounder. Even Kevin Durant said as much when he was in town for the season opener.

Keeping score:

Marvin Williams
Derrick Favors (recently signed a contract through
2018)

The Jazz are doing good with the current scoreboard, but not winning. The next asset the Jazz received turned into a player with a 2011 first-round draft pick. And with that pick the Jazz chose center, Enes Kanter. The big man is entering his third season and  is fun to watch when he has the ball in his hands but can be perplexing when he doesn’t.

The tally grows:

Marvin Williams
Derrick Favors
Enes Kanter
While that’s a nice bunch of players, none have been All-Stars with the Jazz, and in the NBA those teams don’t contend for championships. But along with a little cash there’s one more piece Utah pulled out of New Jersey, a first round pick in the 2013 draft.

That pick, paired with the Jazz’s own selection, turned into a point guard out of Michigan named Trey Burke. Burke is the scoring PG who led his team to the national championship game last year. After fracturing his finger during the preseason, he’s still a few weeks from playing with the Jazz.

So as you watch the Jazz play against Derron Williams for the fifth time since his departure, here’s the scoreboard that might help you stay cool and collected if Williams goes off.

Nets:
Deron Williams

Jazz:
Marvin Williams
Derrick Favors
Enes Kanter
Trey Burke

Who won the trade?  You decide.

 

Skyler Hardman, a Utah native and life long Jazz fan, dreamed of covering the team at an age when most of his peers were still hoping to play in the NBA.  Follow him on Twitter @Skydiz.

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