Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nets Land All-Star Deron Williams

The New Jersey Nets have acquired point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz in exchange for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, draft picks, and cash considerations.

The Breakdown

New Jersey Nets: While this is a major trade in the NBA, it does little to change the fantasy landscape. Williams will step right into New Jersey's starting line up and put up the numbers he's put up all season. Because New Jersey has less talent than Utah, there's a chance the Nets count on Deron to score more, though it's unlikely his numbers change significantly. We expect him to remain a top 10 fantasy stud for the rest of the season.

The biggest beneficiary in New Jersey may be Kris Humphries, who takes back starting power forward duties. He's managed to hang around the top 100 of our player ratings most of the season and should have value as a rebounder. Teams in need of a boost in that category should scoop him up quickly.

Utah Jazz: Harris will likely put up numbers close to what he did in New Jersey, though many experts feel he hadn't been playing his best as he struggled under the tutelage of head coach Avery Johnson. At his best, Harris has shown he can be an All-Star caliber point guard but there's no guaranteeing the trade brings out the best in him. Harris owners should expect little change in his value, though there's a chance his assist numbers improve with more talent around him.

As for Favors, he'll likely continue to play a limited role as he did in New Jersey. He's simply too raw to contribute in the NBA and fantasy this season. If anything, his value drops a bit as Paul Millsap will see heavy minutes and Mehmet Okur could also command some of Favors' minutes when he returns. Favors should only be owned in the deepest leagues.

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