Nets deal Williams to Rockets, get Lakers' Vujacic in three-team swap
The New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers have agreed in principle to a deal that will send Terrence Williams to Houston, Sasha Vujacic to New Jersey and Joe Smith to Los Angeles, a league source confirmed to SI.com. The Nets will also receive a first-round pick from the Lakers in 2011 and a lottery protected first-rounder from Houston in 2012.
The deal was first reported by northjersey.com and Yahoo! Sports.
By picking up two more first-round picks, New Jersey GM Billy King has positioned the team as major players on the trade market. The Nets now have five first-round picks over the next two years, assets that could impact New Jersey's pursuit of Carmelo Anthony. The Nets have offered Denver rookie Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy and two first-round picks for Anthony. By acquiring two more No. 1 picks, the Nets could sweeten the pot or lure in a third team with players that appeal to the Nuggets.
On Sunday, ESPN reported Anthony would only sign a contract extension if he was traded to New York. However multiple sources told SI.com that Anthony is still open to signing an extension with New Jersey. The Nets are scheduled to begin play in Brooklyn -- Anthony's hometown -- in 2012.
By continuing to accumulate assets, the Nets clearly believe they are still in the race.
Williams has been on the trading block for several weeks. On November 26, he was assigned to the D-League, a demotion that was due, in part, to disciplinary reasons. Williams had repeatedly been late for shootarounds, practices and team meetings.
The 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Williams averaged 6.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 10 games with the Nets this season.
The Lakers obtain some financial relief by dumping Vujacic, who is scheduled to make $5.5 million this season. Vujacic had fallen out of the Lakers rotation this season, averaging 1.8 points in just under five minutes per game.
Smith, 35, has played in four games this season after signing a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Nets this offseason.