DENVER — Now that we know how Utah Jazz fans treat Deron Williams when he returns to town — to paraphrase the loudest ones, "BOOOOO " — a big question remains.
Which team got the better end of the D-Will deal?
New Jersey or Utah?
Williams has averaged 16.7 points on 35.8 percent shooting and 10.6 assists in 24 games with the Nets, but he might bail before the team bounces to Brooklyn next year.
The Jazz received playmaker Devin Harris (12.8 ppg, 39.5 percent shooting, 5.1 apg in Utah), promising power forward Derrick Favors (8.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg), rebounding giant Enes Kanter (4.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg), a future pick (or two) from Golden State and $3 million.
So? The wheeling and dealing winner?
Neither Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor nor Tyrone Corbin wanted to divulge whether they believe they came out on top.
"We like the guys we have," Corbin said. "We like where we are now."
It's too early to (not) tell, O'Connor added.
"What you hope with a trade is that you establish fair value. That's to be determined," the Jazz GM said. "You can't really judge anything on 10 games a season."
Utah brass don't want to keep looking in the rear-view mirror, but it's important to determine if wise business and basketball moves were made. Eventually they weigh plusses and minuses of every trade.
"What you try and do when you evaluate," O'Connor said, "is (look at) why you made it, whether it was the right decision, whether things develop the way you thought they would."
Buyer's remorse, O'Connor realizes, is a tough thing to live with.
"I think it's so early. We still don't have one of the draft picks," O'Connor added. "We've got a 19- and a 20-year-old as well as Devin."
The 2012 pick is top-seven protected from the Warriors.
Will he ever divulge who got the better end of the swap?
O'Connor smiled and responded: "Way too early. When there is time, I'll say, 'no comment.'"
INJURY UPDATE: The Jazz started Sunday's game without Josh Howard because he retweaked his left quadriceps muscle.
Utah also finished the 106-96 win over Denver without Favors, who didn't return after spraining his left ankle while rebounding in the second quarter.
Favors wore a walking boot after the game, but he isn't concerned.
"It just hurts because I twisted it, but overall it's good," he said. "I'm going to play Tuesday. No doubt about it, I'm playing. I always play through pain— I just never tell anybody."
Howard first injured his quad on Jan. 3 against Milwaukee. The small forward didn't return but played in five straight with some pain before Sunday.
It bothered him after getting kneed Saturday, and his status for Tuesday's Jazz-Clippers game is uncertain.
"It's acting up. … I went out there and tried to warm it up (pregame Sunday). It wasn't responding the way I wanted it to," Howard said. "I want to get it as good as possible."
GOOSE EGG GONE: Favors celebrated in the locker room Saturday. Not only did he beat the team that traded him last year, but he also made his first assist of the season in the 107-94 win over the Nets.
"I didn't do nothing but drive to the basket. A defender came to me, I just handed off to Enes, and Enes scored. Simple as that," Favors said. "Made a basketball play."
And let his teammates know about it.
"I spread it around to everybody," Favors joked. "I told everybody I have my first one. I was pretty excited about that."
Jamaal Tinsley also notched his first point on a free throw Saturday.
"Great night," Favors added, smiling.
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