From Denver to Utah, revisiting 24 hours that shook four franchises

Doug Pensinger

In that the Nets had a bad night in Denver and hope for a good night in Utah, it's probably a good time to re-visit the last time something good in Utah followed something bad in Denver. That would be the 2011 trade deadline when this was followed by this - the end of the MeloDrama followed by the beginning of the D-Will era, existential angst followed by sheer joy and yes, relief.

Those 24 hours shaped four franchises: the Nuggets, Nets, Jazz and Knicks. And two plus years later, it's a rare case, as Tim Bontemps points out, where everyone is STILL happy.

"I mean, I think the Knicks are happy, we’re happy, and they’re probably happy," Nuggets coach George Karl said of the Nets in a conversation with Bontemps. Of course, he couldn't resist a subtle dig at Carmelo Anthony. "They get Deron Williams, and I would rather have a great point guard than a great wing guy, if I’m starting a team. I would like to start it with a top-five point guard, and I think Deron got off to a bad start this year, but he’s playing awfully well right now."

Karl of course can say anything he wants about the deals. His GM, Masai Ujiri, came away the big winner, the Nuggets having the best record of the three this season and the best record since the trades. The Denver Post recently calculated that ten players on the Nuggets roster were either part of the trade, taken with picks from the trade or flipped for players included in the trade. They still have two more opportunities to add to their big win, controlling the Knicks first-round pick in 2014 and a swap of 2016 first rounders.

The Nets got what they had set out to acquire: a star for Brooklyn, a player with credibility needed for the big move, the crucial piece. The Jazz got youth in Derrick Favors and a draft pick that turned into Enes Kanter. They still have one more pick from the deal, the Warriors first rounder in this year's draft.

Karl said of the Nets. "I told my coaching staff after watching them on film yesterday that I think they’re the second or third best team in the Eastern Conference. I really do."



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