NBA: NJ’s T. Williams traded to Houston in 3-team deal
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey has sent swingman Terrence Williams to Houston in a three-team trade that gives the Nets two more first-round draft picks for potential use in a Carmelo Anthony deal.
The Nets got the Rockets’ first-round draft pick in 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick in 2011 and shooting guard Sasha Vujacic from the Lakers.
The Lakers get veteran forward Joe Smith in the trade.
“This trade benefits our team in both the short and long term,” Nets general manager Billy King said Wednesday in announcing the trade. “Sasha is a veteran NBA player who will add depth to our backcourt rotation, while the addition of the two future No. 1 picks adds to our assets as we look to rebuild into a championship contender.”
In a second trade announced Wednesday, the Rockets sent guard Jermaine Taylor and cash considerations to the Sacramento Kings for a conditional second-round pick in the 2011 draft.
The Nets have five first-round picks through 2012. They own their own in 2011 and ’12, got two more in the trade and have a 2011 pick from Golden State acquired in a trade for Marcus Williams. The Williams’ pick is lottery protected.
The Nets are interested in acquiring Anthony and were close to a deal in the preseason. The first-round picks and the Nuggets’ interest in rookie power forward Derrick Favors might be their bargaining chips.
Williams, who was inactive for the Nets’ 82-77 loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday, is averaging 6.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in a turbulent season that saw him fined for showing up late for practices and later sent to the franchise’s D-League team in Springfield.
Rockets coach Rick Adelman said he’s “not going to rush into anything” and force Williams into Houston’s rotation without first seeing him in practice.
“He can break people down, he can pass the ball, so it’s just a matter of where he fits with the group we have,” Adelman said. “Unfortunately, we have a lot of games in a short time before Christmas. But we’ll see. It will work itself out.”
Vujacic has career averages of 4.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in seven seasons. Once a valuable reserve for the Lakers, his playing time has been limited this season.
Currently in his 16th NBA season, Smith signed with the Nets as a free agent on Sept. 10. He played 25 minutes in four games with New Jersey.
AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken in Houston contributed to this report.