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Bet on the NBAAs the NBA trade deadline came and went, much of the reporting was about the New York Knicks-Denver Nuggets trade where Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups join the Knicks. The Boston Celtics-Oklahoma City Thunder trade was also widely reported, simply because it was so unexpected that the Celtics would dismantle their Fantastic Five lineup. These teams made some gambles on players, and it is still to be seen whether they will pay off or not in terms of playoff success.

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But it could be argued that the New Jersey Nets rolled the dice the hardest and took the biggest gamble before the trade deadline. The Nets unloaded much of their roster in order to acquire Deron Williams. The Nets gave up point guard Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and numerous draft picks. Was the trade worth it? The Nets got one of the NBA's best point guards and one of the more well-rounded players in the league in Williams.

However, Williams has the option of opting out of his contract after the 2011-2012 season, so the Nets may have given up long-term stability for short-term gain. In a manner similar to the media circus that accompanied the LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony moves over the last year of the NBA, Deron may be looking ahead to making teams fight for him. The Utah Jazz took an early opportunity to unload him and avoid the James-Anthony effect coming in 2012.

So the pressure is on for New Jersey to secure a contract extension for Williams. If they are able to do that, then the trade makes a whole lot of sense. But if Williams opts out of his contract following 2011-2011, then the Nets will be left with a huge hole in their lineup and few options to help fill the gap. The Nets will be without an effective point guard and will have to scramble for one before the 2012-2013 season begins.


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