As Donovan Mitchell trade rumors mount, many remember the Utah Jazz trade 11 years ago of fellow All-Star guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets.
Last week, ESPN ranked 15 of the NBA’s biggest trades of the past 20 years (their story revolved around the trade discussion surrounding current Brooklyn Net superstar Kevin Durant). The Williams-Jazz trade — which brought Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, a draft pick who became Enes Kanter and a draft pick who became Gorgui Dieng to Utah — came in at No. 4.
“Almost immediately after the Nets missed (Carmelo) Anthony, they reached a deal with Utah to get disgruntled star point guard Deron Williams, who became the face of the team’s eventual move to the other side of the Hudson River in Brooklyn a year and a half later,” ESPN wrote. “Things quickly deteriorated, however, and he was bought out of the last two years of his contract in 2015.
Utah, meanwhile, got the No. 3 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, Derrick Favors, and they knew New Jersey’s pick was destined to be a high pick — and it was. , which resulted in the No. 3 overall pick in 2011, who became Enes Kanter.After that move, the Jazz began to revamp their roster around young forward Gordon Hayward, who in 2016-17 helped lead the Utah’s current streak of six consecutive playoff appearances – the longest active streak in the Western Conference.
The 2019 trade that sent Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft (now De’Andre Hunter) , a 2022 first-round pick (became Dyson Daniels), a trade pick in the 2023 draft, and the Lakers’ 2024 first-round pick with the right to carry it over to 2025 at the top of ESPN’s list .
ESPN wrote two key takeaways from its review of these deals: first, “the leverage is huge – and can drive massive returns” and “choices matter more than ever before.”
On the second point, ESPN wrote: “The structure of these agreements has changed significantly. In the mid-2000s, when Tracy McGrady and Shaquille O’Neal were traded, the deals were built around the players – Steve Francis in the McGrady deal and Lamar Odom in the O’Neal trade.
“Over time, however – and particularly over the last decade – the returns have become much heavier, as teams now seek more future project assets than current talent.”