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Utah Jazz Trade D-Will, Murder Fans’ Loyalty

Deron WilliamsOnly two days after New York finally acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets, the New Jersey Nets rose from the dead and stole Deron Williams away from the Utah Jazz for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first-round picks, and cash.

In related news, the time and place will soon be announced for the double-funeral of the Jazz fans’ loyalty and the team’s playoff chances.

Trading an All-Star who is contending for the title of “Best Point Guard in the NBA” usually isn’t a good idea. But in reality, this trade normally wouldn’t be too bad for the Jazz. They gave up a great point guard with attitude problems, and in return got a good point guard (Harris), a rookie forward with good potential (Favors), and two likely lottery picks (Nets’ 2011 and Warriors’ 2012).

But why is this trade a disaster for Utah’s fan relations? Because the Jazz just pushed out their coach of 23 years because of Deron Williams, only to trade him away two weeks later.

Did they really expect the fans to agree with this decision? At least Nuggets fans were prepared for Carmelo to leave. Imagine how devastated they would have been if the Nuggets had let Nene and J.R. Smith go over the summer (i.e. Carlos Boozer), fired George Karl halfway through the season, then unexpectedly traded Anthony to New York without any warning. Throw in the fact that Utah fans don’t understand the concept of sports etiquette, and the next Jazz home game (Monday vs. the Celtics) will simply be accompanied by constant booing.

Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams

The Jazz couldn't have both D-Will and Sloan. No one thought they'd end up with neither.

I can think of three reasons why the Jazz traded D-Will:

  1. The entire organization has multiple personality disorder and personality #1 forgot to tell personalility #2 that they had gotten rid of Sloan to keep Williams.
  2. They want Sloan back.  There’s an 80% chance the following conversation happened recently in the Jazz front office:
    Jazz executive #1: Hey, remember that decision to choose our point guard of 5 years over our coach of 23 years? Well, surprise, surprise, we have lost all three games since.
    Jazz executive #2: Didn’t Orlando lose a bunch of games in a row and panic and trade away half their roster? How has that worked for them?
    Exec #1: Well, they have done okay, they ended their losing streak pretty soon after that and are still in the playoff hunt.
    Exec. #2: Maybe we should try that – except we’ll go even a step further. Let’s trade our best player, Deron Williams, and then Sloan will come back and coach us again. Kill two birds with one stone.
    Exec. #1: Great idea! I’ll call the Nets, hopefully Mikhail hasn’t killed everyone because they didn’t get Carmelo.

    Sorry to break it to you guys, but Sloan’s not coming back.
  3. Jimmer Fredette

    Maybe they think scoring machine Jimmer Fredette would look good in a Jazz uniform.

  4. They want BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.  The national player of the year favorite has a religious following in Provo, just right down the road from Salt Lake City. They might even be able to overcome this D-Will/Sloan disaster if they pick up this local legend and he continues to astound at the NBA level. As a BYU student who is in no way a Jazz fan, this is one of my worst nightmares, but I think it’s a strong possibility now that they have their own first-round pick (likely a lottery pick now) as well as New Jersey’s unprotected first-rounder (also a lottery pick). With Jimmer expected to be a late lottery pick, they can take him if they want him. Without this trade, he would be gone before their turn rolls around.

So what’s the end result? The Nets are a little better, although they will need to acquire another big player to convince Williams to stay in New Jersey/Brooklyn when his contract expires after next season. The Jazz are a little worse on the basketball court and a lot worse on the popularity scale. And Jimmer Fredette’s chances of still being stuck in Utah after he graduates just quadrupled.

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