If the Denver Nuggets front office had gotten their wishes — if they could have traded Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Favors and picks rather than to New York — then Deron Williams would be a Knick today.
In one of the infinite alternate universes that is the reality, but in this one just consider the story Sam Amick tells at NBA Confidential a fun postscript on the Melodrama.
As (Jazz GM Kevin) O’Connor told (Knicks president Donnie) Walsh approximately an hour before the game and would later repeat in an interview with NBA Confidential, he targeted the Nets’ and Knicks’ assets and decided to play the waiting game. Somebody would lose in the Anthony sweepstakes, and that team would immediately hear from O’Connor to discuss a marvelous Plan B….
While Walsh is certainly thrilled to land Anthony, he admitted the notion of landing Williams would have been appealing had he known he was on the market. Asked if things might have turned out differently if he was privy to that information, Walsh said with a shrug when asked by NBA Confidential, “it might have.”
O’Conner said the very public way the Nuggets went about this process was part of what allowed him to track what was and was not available when he would call.
Knicks fans love what they have with Anthony, but would Williams have been a better fit with Amar’e Stoudemire and in the Mike D’Antoni offense?
We’ll never know. Consider it a bit of fan fiction if you want.
Go read the story, which has a lengthy Q&A with O’Conner that includes some thoughts about where the Jazz go from here.