Trade helps Nets add to possible Anthony deal

Published 4:46 am Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Associated Press

HOUSTON — 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.

Email newsletter signup

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

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.”