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Utah Jazz: Jazz to trade Devin Harris to the Hawks for Marvin Williams

Published: Monday, July 2 2012 9:51 p.m. MDT

Atlanta Hawks' Marvin Williams makes a basket against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 13, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

John Raoux, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz aren't done wheeling and dealing.

They aren't done shaping their squad for the 2012-13 season, either.

The Jazz picked up one veteran point guard and former All-Star on Friday in Mo Williams, and now they're trading away another veteran point guard and former All-Star.

Devin Harris has been dealt to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for small forward Marvin Williams, according to multiple national outlets, including The Associated Press in Salt Lake City.

On Monday night, Jazz CEO Greg Miller acknowledged the deal for Marvin Williams while picking up Mo Williams at Salt Lake City International Airport in preparation for today's introductory press conference.

Miller said it was difficult to part with Harris but that he was excited by what Mo Williams will bring to the team.

"It's always unfortunate when we have to let a player go because all of our players work so hard and they're so invested in helping us win." Miller said. "And it's got to be a tough thing for them. I know it is for us. I wish Devin the best in his career."

Harris, a 2009 Eastern Conference All-Star with Mo Williams, has been with the Jazz since February 2011 when he was brought to Utah as part of the Deron Williams deal with New Jersey.

Utah just added a fourth point guard to its roster last week when it brought Mo Williams back in a four-way trade, using up $8.5 of its trade $10.8 million exception it received for the Mehmet Okur exchange with the Nets last December.

Mo Williams, dressed in a red T-shirt, black shorts and a New Orleans Saints cap, arrived in Salt Lake City about 8:30 p.m. Monday night. He only has one year left on his current deal but expressed hope that he could be in Utah long term.

"I'm very excited about a new start for me and a second homecoming," Mo Williams said, noting that Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor has often considered letting Mo Williams leave after one season as "the worst: mistake of his career."

"I know he says that a lot, but at the same time I was a young basketball player at the time," Mo Williams said. "Obviously he made a decision he thought was best for the organization. I never had a bad taste in my mouth about the organization. I always respected them because they gave me a shot.

"I watched 30 teams pass me in the first round. I always had a part of my heart for the Jazz, and I'm glad I'm able to come back and prove my worth to them."

Marvin Williams, meanwhile, is set to make $15.75 million over the next two years, although he has a player option for the 2013-14 season ($7.5 million salary that year).

Harris will make $8.5 this upcoming season in the final year of his deal.

Marvin Williams was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft, being selected by Atlanta one spot ahead of Deron Williams (No. 3 by Utah).

The 6-9, 245-pound North Carolina product has averaged 11.5 points on 45 percent shooting (32.9 percent from 3-point range) over his seven-year career..

Marvin Williams hit a career-best 38.9 percent of his treys last season, and helped Atlanta get to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. He's also averaged 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists over the course of his career.

This pending trade makes Friday's acquisition of Mo Williams make a bit more sense. Along with Mo Williams, who played with the Jazz during the 2003-04 season, the Jazz had four veteran playmakers, including Harris, Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley.

On the other hand, the Jazz were down on wing players, considering Josh Howard and C.J. Miles are both unrestricted free agents and Raja Bell has asked to play elsewhere.

Utah still has a bevy of big players, with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter on the roster. The Jazz also have tendered a qualifying offer to restricted free agent forward Jeremy Evans, giving them the opportunity to match any potential suitor's bid for the reigning NBA slam dunk champion.

This will be the second team for Marvin Williams and the fourth for Harris, the No. 5 pick of the 2004 NBA Draft.

Harris played well in Dallas and New Jersey, but the 29-year-old struggled for about a year after replacing Deron Williams as the Jazz's starting point guard.

Harris turned his play around after the All-Star Break last season, ending with averages of 11.3 points and 5.0 assists per game and 44.5 percent shooting. He has scored 13.1 points per game and dished out 5.0 assists per game in his eight-year career.

The Jazz will hold a press conference this afternoon to re-introduce Mo Williams to Utah.

Contributing: Lynn DeBruin

Email: jody@desnews.com

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