Jazz Won’t Try To Replace Deron Williams In Draft

by May 18, 2011
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The Utah Jazz took another baby step towards getting back into the top-tier of the Western Conference last night, catching the luck of the draw and ending up with the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft. With Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward, the Jazz have a solid young core to build upon. And with a plethora of guards (Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight, etc..) available, many expect Utah to try and fill the void left by Deron Williams, but Jazz GM Kevin O’Connor realizes there might not be another player of Williams’ caliber in this draft. From the New York Daily News:

“While O’Connor was boosted by the good fortune of the ping pong balls, he wasn’t claiming any great victories.  There are only so many Williams’ in the basketball universe, and O’Connor doesn’t see such a franchise-changer in what is widely considered a weak draft. ‘Who knows (if any of the draft picks will be as good as Deron Williams)? I know one thing. I know how good Deron Williams is. I don’t think you can say that about anybody in this draft,’ he said. O’Connor was convinced Williams wouldn’t re-sign with the Jazz when his contract expires after next season, prompting a trade that returned Devin Harris and two third overall draft picks (including Derrick Favors), along with a first-round pick next year. The robust return still doesn’t equal Williams’ worth, O’Connor suggested, but now the burden of getting the point guard’s signature has shifted from the Jazz to the Nets. ‘I don’t think (getting the third pick) validates anything as far as the trade goes. I think we accepted the fact of the risk-reward, with being able to re-sign Deron. And I thought getting Devin and getting Derrick were things that were a key part, and then, whatever else we got was luck, to be honest with you. We gave up a terrific player – a guy that wants to win and has won playoff series for us.'”