Williams, 26, comes to New Jersey in exchange for forward Derrick Favors, the No. 3 pick in the 2010 National Basketball Association draft; guard Devin Harris; and first-round draft picks in 2011 and 2012, General Manager Billy King said in a news release.
“He is one of the premier point guards in the NBA, and his skill and talent level will bolster our franchise as we continue to build towards our goal of becoming a championship-caliber team,” King said.
The Nets also acquired forward Brandan Wright and center Dan Gadzuric from the Golden State Warriors for forward Troy Murphy and the Nets’ second-round draft pick in 2012, King said.
The New York Knicks acquired Anthony, a four-time All-Star, in a three-team deal completed yesterday. Last week the Nets were reported by the Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, to have a tentative deal to acquire Anthony that would have included Favors, Harris and four first-round draft picks. The Knicks also were interested in Williams, the New York Times reported without saying where it got its information.
Williams was drafted by the Jazz with the third pick in 2005. An All-Star in 2010 and 2011, he has finished in the top four in assists each of the past five seasons and this year is averaging 9.7 assists and a career-high 21.3 points per game.
Williams’s displeasure in Utah was a factor in the midseason resignation of Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, according to reports in the Salt Lake Tribune. He has 2 1/2 years left on the four-year, $70 million contract extension he signed with the Jazz in 2008, and can opt out of the deal after next year and become a free agent.
The Nets are 17-40, nine games behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The team is scheduled to move into Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center before the start of the 2012-13 season.
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