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In Utah, a realization they probably lost the Deron Williams trade


In a discussion of ESPN Radio in Salt Lake City Wednesday, sportscasters and the Jazz's leading beat writer agree that while Utah got some "intriguing pieces" for Deron Williams, Williams is a "superstar."

When the deal went down on February 21, 2011, most in Utah praised it. D-Will seemed unsure that he'd return and the team had just gone through the throes of losing Jerry Sloan who had quit two weeks before. The bloom, so to speak, is off the rose now.

The Jazz traded Deron Williams to the Nets, getting Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round picks in return, one of whom became Enes Kanter of Turkey. The final piece will be known June 27 when the Jazz will use the Warriors first round pick in this year's draft. Utah will draft at #21, just before the Nets.

Favors, who's only started 21 games since the trade, has made only modest improvements since arriving, going from 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 19.7 minutes as a 19-year-old to 9.4 and 7.1 in 23.2 minutes as a 21-year-old. The Jazz will have to decide next summer how much they want to pay him on his next contract. Kanter, who's only 20, has averaged 6.0 and 4.3 in his two years. He's started two games in two years. Harris was traded last summer to the Hawks for Marvin Williams, a perpetual underachiever.

One of the show's hosts, Bill Riley, admits he has "flipped" on the subject of the trade, saying "the two guys they got for him are nice players but not superstars" and thinks now that the Jazz should have tried to keep D-Will or at least waited until the trade deadline last season. One reason: the great relationship D-Will had with Sloan's replacement, Ty Corbin.

Jody Genessy, the long-time Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News, says he understood the rationale for the deal, but also thinks the Nets did well while the Jazz remain in the "gamble mode" on the trade.

"They haven't gotten a return on their investment yet. Sure they have intriguing pieces, like Derrick Favors," Genessy told Peterson. "But none of the guys combined have given them what Deron Williams gave them for those first five years with the Jazz, even combined, I don't think personally.

"Deron was the type of point guard that could lift your team to the Western Conference Finals, which he and Carlos Boozer did. The Jazz have only been to the playoffs once in the past three years after that trade. So I would say so far the trade hasn't played out the way they had hoped. Sure they have the flexibility and they have some intriguing pieces for the future but you don't know how they're going to turn our anyway. They're still in gamble mode right now..'

In a fan poll, as of Saturday morning, only 49 percent of 345 fans asked if they'd do the deal again believed "We got plenty of assets and a solid future." The remainder felt it was still to early to make a call or the Jazz "got a stable of role players to replace a superstar."