Nets send ex-Badger Harris to Jazz
The Nets finally landed a big-name All-Star on a wild day before the trading deadline that left several NBA teams with hard-to-recognize rosters.
The Jazz sent point guard Deron Williams to New Jersey, which stole some attention from the neighboring Knicks on Wednesday with Carmelo Anthony making his New York debut that night. Utah received rookie Derrick Favors and point guard Devin Harris.
The Nets also picked up Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric from the Golden State Warriors for Troy Murphy, a move that could help New Jersey clear salary space at the end of the season.
The struggling Atlanta Hawks acquired guard Kirk Hinrich from Washington in a five-player trade, upgrading their backcourt for the playoff run. The Hawks also received forward Hilton Armstrong in exchange for guard Mike Bibby, rookie guard Jordan Crawford, swingman Maurice Evans and a first-round pick in this year’s draft.
The Hornets and Kings agreed on a trade sending forward Carl Landry to New Orleans in exchange for shooting guard Marcus Thornton and cash. The deal gives the playoff-contending Hornets depth in the frontcourt, but at the cost of a popular former LSU star who can score in a flurry.
The Jazz also will receive the Nets’ first-round pick in 2011, which could be a lottery pick, along with cash and Golden State’s 2012 first-round draft pick. The Nets hope Williams will sign a contract extension, which they can offer this summer.
If so, he would become the face of their franchise when they move to Brooklyn in 2012.
The deal came two days after the Nets failed to land Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. Jazz CEO Greg Miller said he made the move because of a “gut feeling” that he wouldn’t be able to sign Williams to a long-term deal after next season.
The Jazz were a perennial contender with Williams, but his reputation took a hit when Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan retired one day after clashing with him during a game.
Golden State is expected to buy out Murphy’s contract to make him a free agent. Wright’s and Gadzuric’s contracts—worth about $11 million combined this year, close to the same as Murphy’s—also expire at the end of the season and help New Jersey clear salary cap space.
The Hornets-Kings trade upset at least one NBA owner—the Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban—who questioned the fairness of the NBA allowing a league-owned team to absorb more salary while at the same time sending cash to the other club involved in the trade. The NBA took over the Hornets in December from founder George Shinn, who was having cash-flow problems and wanted to unload the club quickly.
The Hawks have lost four out of five games and slipped to fifth in the top-heavy Eastern Conference. Not only do they have to worry about catching the teams ahead of them, but the sixth-place Knicks, who began the night five games behind Atlanta, made one of biggest splashes ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline by acquiring Anthony.