O'Connor called to inform the Jazz's new coach, Ty Corbin, as the team was getting prepared to leave the hotel for shootaround at American Airlines Arena this morning.
The out-of-the-blue deal happened so quickly, O'Connor told Corbin, because the Nets were looking to do something big after their attempts at acquiring ex-Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony fell through.
The Jazz had been approached with offers from three to five teams, O'Connor said, but this was the only one that was enticing enough for the Jazz to take seriously. Otherwise, Utah would have kept Williams, who has a player option at the end of next season.
"Unless we got what we wanted at this particular time," O'Connor said, "then we wouldn't be doing it."
Count Corbin among the shocked.
"My initial reaction is that I'm going to miss Deron. He was a good player for us," Corbin said following shootaround. "I've been with him his entire time in the NBA as an assistant coach and now as a head coach for a few games.
"He's a great player and he's a good teammate for the guys, and we're going to miss him," Corbin added. "I wish him well as he moves forward, and we'll have to work our way through it."
Miles and Williams spoke briefly as the team got on the bus, and the Jazz's sixth man said he'll give D-Will a call later today.
"There was no way to forecast that this was going to happen," Bell said.
With today's trade deadline approaching, Bell's name also popped up in rumors Wednesday. A Yahoo! report claimed the Minnesota Timberwolves were interested in acquiring the veteran shooting guard.
Without addressing any individual rumors or reports, O'Connor confirmed that the Jazz remain "very active" in trade talks with other teams. The key, he added, is that it would have to be in the Jazz's best interest.
"If," O'Connor said, "it would improve our team, we would look to do something."
In Harris, the Jazz are getting a former All-Star point guard who was taken fifth overall in the 2004 draft — the year prior to Williams' draft — by the Washington Wizards. The 28-year-old Wisconsin product averaged 15.0 points and 7.6 assists for the Nets this season.
The 6-3, 190-pound Harris has played for Dallas and the Nets during his seven-year career, averaging 13.2 points, 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals.
The 19-year-old Favors, who was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2010 draft, gives the Jazz more depth at the power forward spot. The 6-10, 246-pounder has averaged 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds his rookie season for the Nets.
This blockbuster Jazz deal comes a few days after Yahoo.com reported that a close associate of Williams' declared that he would be interested in playing for the New York Knicks when his contract expires after the 2011-12 season. Williams denied the rumor during the All-Star Break.
It also comes two weeks after Williams was linked to the departure of Sloan, who resigned abruptly in his 23rd season as the Jazz head coach a day after getting into a heated argument with the team captain.
Williams admitted to arguing with Sloan on occasion, but denied that he was the impetus in Sloan's resignation.
"That was not a consideration," O'Connor added. "It wasn't like him or me (between Sloan and Williams)."
O'Connor said the Jazz owe a debt of gratitude to Williams, who led them to the Western Conference Finals and to the playoffs as a starter the past four seasons.
"We appreciate how he's played, appreciate the fact he's helped us win a lot of games and all of those things," O'Connor said. "Nothing's forever and nothing's guaranteed. We had an opportunity to get a couple of pieces that we might not have been able to get for three or four years."
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