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Nets Deal For Picks, Could Sweeten Pot For Anthony

Carmelo Anthony (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets will acquire swingman Terrence Williams from New Jersey in a three-team trade that gives the Nets two more first-round draft picks for potential use in a Carmelo Anthony deal, a person with knowledge of the trade said Tuesday.

The Nets would receive the Rockets’ first-round draft pick in 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick in 2011 and current Lakers shooting guard Sasha Vujacic, the person told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person was granted anonymity because no formal announcement had been made about the trade, which can’t be completed until Wednesday.

The Lakers get veteran Joe Smith in the trade, which was first reported by Yahoo.com.

Smith was active for the Nets in Tuesday night’s loss to Philadelphia. Williams was inactive, and posted a farewell message on his Twitter page.

“Welcome welcome, to all my jersey fans an(d) people,” Williams wrote. “it’s been real I love y’all an thanks, to HOUSTON what uppppp. “go Rockets” lol.”

The deal cannot be completed until Wednesday, because Smith signed with the Nets in the offseason as a free agent so is not eligible to be dealt until Dec. 15.

“It’s disappointing. I have grown close to these young guys. I got my rookies,” Smith said. “To be going to a team that won two championships in a row and knows what it takes and has a lot of veterans and to hopefully be a part of something special is always an exciting time.”

Williams is averaging 6.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in a turbulent season.

Nets coach Avery Johnson said Williams was a healthy scratch Tuesday. He was told not to come to the game, probably because the Nets didn’t want to risk him getting hurt.

Williams has been in Johnson’s doghouse this season. He has been fined for showing up late to practices and he was sent home from another game for failing to follow team policy. He was shipped to Nets’ D-League team in Springfield, Mass., for a couple of games before being brought back to the team last week.

If the trade goes through, the Nets will have five first-round picks through 2012. They own their own in 2011 and ’12. They would add the Lakers’ and Rockets’ picks and they 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.

Vujacic was once a valuable reserve for the Lakers whose playing time has been slashed this season. He couldn’t get any information about the deal during the Lakers’ game at Washington, saying he had no cell phone service at the Verizon Center.

“It’s terrible. I’m 26 years old,” he said of his limited minutes this season. “If it happens, then I definitely want to double what I did in LA, so we’ll see.”

Houston’s Jermaine Taylor did not play in the Rockets’ 118-105 victory over Sacramento amid reports he’s headed to the Kings as part of a second deal.

“He’s one of the best scorers on Earth,” said Kings forward and former Rocket Carl Landry. “Jermaine Taylor, he’s going to be a great addition to this team.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

From the Nets:
East Rutherford, NJ – The New Jersey Nets have obtained guard Sasha Vujacic and a 2011 first round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers (protected 1-18), along with the Houston Rockets’ first round selection in 2012 (lottery protected), Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. As part of the three-team trade, the Lakers acquired forward Joe Smith and two second round draft picks from the Nets (Golden St.-2011 & Chicago-2012) along with the draft rights to Sergei Lishchuk from the Rockets, while the Rockets acquired guard Terrence Williams from New Jersey.

“This trade benefits our team in both the short and long term,” said King. “Sasha is a veteran NBA player who will add depth to our backcourt rotation, while the addition of the two future number one picks adds to our assets as we look to rebuild into a championship contender.”

Vujacic, currently in his seventh NBA season, holds career averages of 4.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in 420 games with the Lakers. He has shot .393 (694-1,767) from the field, .372 (363-977) from behind the arc and .876 (282-322) from the free throw line. The 6’7” guard out of Maribor, Slovenia was the first round pick (27th overall) of the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Draft. The two-time NBA champion, has appeared in 11 games with Los Angeles this season, averaging 1.8 points in 4.9 minutes per contest. In 65 career postseason games, he has averaged 5.0 points in 14.7 minutes of action. His best season came in 2007-08 when he posted career-highs of 8.8 points and 2.1 rebounds while setting the then Lakers single season three-point shooting record at .437 (118-270). Before entering the NBA Draft, Vujacic played three seasons (2001-04) for Snaidero Udine in Italy’s top professional league.

Williams was selected 11th overall by New Jersey in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft. The Louisville product appeared in 88 career games for the Nets, averaging 8.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 2.9 apg. This season, Williams has played in 10 contests, with averages of 6.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 3.1 apg.

Smith, currently in his 16th NBA season, signed with the Nets as a free agent on September 10, 2010. The former Number 1 pick out of the University of Maryland holds career averages of 11.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 1,018 games with 11 NBA teams. This season, Smith has played in four games for the Nets, totaling two points and three rebounds in 25 minutes.

pixy Nets Deal For Picks, Could Sweeten Pot For Anthony