Trade to Nets Proves Deron Williams is NOT the NBA’s Best PG

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For the last few seasons there has been a lively debate about the best point guard in the NBA. Prior to this season the discussion was mainly between Chris Paul and Deron Williams (Derrick Rose is now in the conversation). Now that Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first round picks, it’s safe to say that the debate is over.

Deron Williams is definitely not the best point guard in the NBA.

By Peter Christian

derrick rose bullsThe statement might seem silly and pointless, but even today following the news of the trade there were people still claiming Williams is the best (most notably Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated). I would contend that the trade itself completely invalidates that claim.

First and foremost, no team trades a player they consider to be the BEST in the NBA at their position for any package unless the HAVE to (and by HAVE to I mean they are being held hostage over a contract dispute (see: Carmelo Anthony) or the team is going in the tank with or without their player and need to flip him to rebuild (see: Kevin Garnett)) (I know I just used the dreaded parentheses inside the parentheses, but it was necessary).

In the Jazz’ (how do you use the Jazz in the possessive?) case, they didn’t NEED to do anything. Instead, they decided to make a move which likely maximized his value in order to reinvigorate/rebrand the franchise. They traded the face of the franchise to start over with a less talented point guard and three big men who all are under contract through 2013. From the outside, this trade simply feels like move #1 of many. Typically, when you rebuild, you do so around your best player, not by dealing him.

Secondly, the value swap was not equal to what you would guess the BEST point guard would garner in a trade. A package of Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first round picks is good but it’s not what you’d call a “Godfather Offer” which is what it should take to land the BEST point guard in the league. I’m relatively positive that both New Orleans and Chicago would balk at similar offers for Chris Paul and Derrick Rose respectively.

Of course, value isn’t the only thing that determines if a player is the best at his position, however, that was one of the biggest arguments coming out of the “D-Will is the Best” camp. If his own team thought his value to be less than what his fans portrayed, than it’s more likely that those who argued his merits were overvaluing Williams to begin with.

Now, I don’t want to come off as a Williams hater, because I’m definitely not. I think he’s an excellent point guard, an outstanding NBA player and I enjoy watching him play immensely. But if I had the opportunity to start an NBA franchise, Williams would be closer to third or fourth on my list of point guards I’d build my team around.

Yet, the Jazz felt like they’d rather build around one of their other players instead of the guy that some people think is the best point guard in the NBA. I think the writing is on the wall with that one.

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Comments

  1. It was a contentious contract situation in Utah, not a hostage situation, but contentious.

    I agree with that D Will is 3rd or 4th, but not only because of this deal. Although this deal certainly says a lot. Agreed that Chicago and Nola would say know to this trade.

    unfortch I can’t say that Williams could become the best PG in the NBA again in NJ. he needs to be paired with a big, and he doesn’t have that right now, in order to get back to that level

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