Next up are Deron Williams and Devin Harris. I was shocked by the abruptness of Utah's trade of Williams. I certainly consider Williams to be one of the best point guards in the NBA. While he was only sixth in my midseason point guard rankings for 2010-11, he was first in my 2009-10 full season point guard rankings. However, I do think that the Jazz got a lot of value out of the trade.
I didn't expect the stats of Williams and Harris to be competitive, but I was curious to see how far apart they were. Here's what the key statistics look like:
Not surprisingly there is a rather large gap between the performances of Williams and Harris so far this season. Williams is more than four points better in PER and has contributed five more wins than Harris has in 2010-11.
The only stat lines where Harris can compete with Williams are turnovers per 36 minutes and Defensive Rating. However, when it comes to defense Williams is much better in Opponent's PER than Harris.
For the Nets the final grade on the trade for Deron Williams will come down to whether they are able to sign him to a contract extension. I give them a lot of credit for having the courage to make this type of trade. For the most part the writing is on the wall - a franchise will not win an NBA title in the near future without top flight superstars. New Jersey decided the opportunity to add one of the best point guards in the game was worth the risk.