NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Knicks thought they made the biggest Tri-State deal when they acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. That is, until the Nets stunningly traded for point guard Deron Williams.
Now the debate is on over which local team got the bigger superstar.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh admitted Thursday he didn’t know the Utah Jazz were involved in talks to deal Williams.
“No, I didn’t. I really didn’t,” Walsh told the Daily News after Knicks practice. “I probably should have thought about it because of Jerry (Sloan) when he left.”
The Jazz chose to combat it the only way they could — by being proactive with the Williams trade and getting as much as they could now even if it created more turmoil just 13 days after Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan abruptly retire after clashing with Williams.
“Not that it was Jerry leaving,” said Walsh. “But the franchise could say, ‘OK, we’ve got to go young now and start rebuilding.’”
When asked whether whiffing on Williams was a blown opportunity, Walsh replied, “Not really.” He didn’t sound entirely convincing.
“I’m not going to comment on what I really thought,” Walsh added. “But I thought something.”
Nets coach Avery Johnson acknowledged to WFAN’s Boomer & Carton that New Jersey’s talks were secretive.
“We know with this social media, if we would have told the world, then maybe ten other teams would have been calling Utah trying to knock us out of that deal,” Johnson said. “We just kept it under wraps. We had it in our back pocket.”
“I didn’t know anything about it,” Walsh admitted. “To me, that’s the normal way of conducting a trade.”
Should Walsh have known about the trade talks? Sound off in the comments below!
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