Utah Jazz: Nuggets 'still talented' after 'Melo trade

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 23 2011 7:18 a.m. MST

DALLAS — So long, Carmelo Anthony.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out of the Northwest Division.

Though he didn't say it in quite those terms, that was the point made by Deron Williams in relation to this week's blockbuster trade that sent Melo to the New York Knicks.

"I'm happy to get him out of the way, out of our division," Williams said with a slight smile before Tuesday's practice. "Get 'Melo out of here. (We) don't have to deal with him anymore playing bully ball."

Though the Nuggets lost Anthony, the superstar of the trade, and Chauncey Billups, the Jazz aren't feeling too badly for their Northwest Division rivals. The Jazz believe Denver picked up some legitimate talent in the deal, which also shipped quality contributors Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Mile High City.

"I think it was a good trade for both teams," Williams said.

Added Jazz coach Ty Corbin: "They're still going to be a good team. … They're still talented."

AND UTAH?: Not surprisingly, not too much chatter has involved the Jazz, even with Thursday's trade deadline approaching.

"We are who we are until we're not," Corbin said. "That's how we're approaching it."

Corbin said he'll leave any potential player additions or subtractions to general manager Kevin O'Connor and crew. His coaching staff and players have more pressing business at hand.

"We're really focused on what's going on on the floor with the guys we have," Corbin said, "trying tot get everybody back on the floor."

While admitting even he hasn't heard anything on the trade front with the Jazz, the former 16-year NBA player understands that this can be a strange time for guys, especially ones whose names come up on occasion in rumors (namely Andrei Kirilenko).

"Everybody gets a little antsy around this time because there is a possibility of trades. I haven't heard a lot of talk about us," Corbin said. "Now that Carmelo trade is done, it may open up some other opportunities."

Raja Bell, now in his second stint with Utah, admitted the Jazz aren't one of the NBA teams that conducts its "business in the streets." He pointed to a midseason trade of Carlos Arroyo and DeShawn Stevenson the first time he was here as proof to the fact that trades don't need to be leaked in the media to happen.

"The Jazz usually do a good job of playing it close to the vest," he said. "So therefore you stay alert the next couple of days and if something shakes down, you do what you've gotta do."

INJURY UPDATE: The Jazz are expecting to have the services of starters Kirilenko (ankle) and Bell (calf) again tonight, but they'll still officially be undermanned. Backup guard Ronnie Price (toe) is doubtful against the Mavericks, and Mehmet Okur (back rehab) did not travel with the team.

"We've been a little banged up the last month or so," Williams said. "So hopefully we can stay healthy and keep everybody on the court."

e-mail: jody@desnews.com twitter: DJJazzyJody

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