Utah's trade of Deron Williams continues dismantling of Oklahoma City Thunder's division rivals

The reported trade of Utah's Deron Williams to New Jersey marks the second time in three days one of the Oklahoma City Thunder's Northwest Division rivals shipped out a star in a trade signaling a shift from contention to rebuilding.
FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS Modified: February 23, 2011 at 11:14 am •  Published: February 23, 2011

The dismantling of the Oklahoma City Thunder's competition for the Northwest Division title continued Wednesday when the Utah Jazz traded point guard Deron Williams to New Jersey, multiple sources are reporting.

Utah is expected to receive Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two first-round picks and cash in the deal. The trade was first reported by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Williams trade marks the second time in three days one of Oklahoma City's division rivals dealt a star in a mega-deal that signaled a shift from contention to rebuilding. On Monday, Denver dealt Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York.

The Thunder (36-19) takes a 4-game lead over Portland in the Northwest Division into Wednesday night's game at San Antonio. Denver, which has played under the cloud of Anthony trade talk all season, is five games back. Utah (31-26), stunned by the resignation of coach Jerry Sloan earlier this month following a dispute with Williams, is six games back.

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