Deron Williams: ‘I Was Trying To Recruit… Nobody’s Coming To Utah’
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Deron Williams shed more light on his departure from Utah in an interview with The Ringer’s Logan Murdock. Joined by former Jazz teammate Raja Bell, Williams explained that despite his best efforts to attract star talent to the Jazz, other players didn’t want to come to Utah.
“I had been around all the best players in the world, I played in two Olympics,” Williams said. “And I was trying to recruit everybody. I’m talking to everybody. Nobody’s coming to Utah.”
Williams was drafted by the Jazz in 2005 and spent six seasons with the team before being traded to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for current Jazzman Derrick Favors and then All-Star guard Devin Harris.
Who y’all picking to between the 08 and 2012 Olympic teams? I picked 2012 and DWill threatened to hang up 🤷🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/o94qUkMcCa
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) March 5, 2021
“I’m a really good player at the time, but number one, I was a point guard, you don’t win championships with point guards, ” Williams said. “You need pieces, we needed other pieces. And I saw the writing on the wall, nobody is going to come to Utah.”
The All-Star guard said he let then Jazz owner Greg Miller know he had intentions of leaving the team at the end of his contract, effectively setting a deadline for the Jazz to trade him, or let him leave in free-agency empty-handed.
But for Jazz fans who fear Williams’s comments may be prescient even today, you need not worry. The former two-time gold medalist said the league has changed from his time in Utah.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) December 8, 2020
“I felt like I had to go somewhere else at the time because that’s how the NBA was,” Williams said. “It’s not like it is now.”
Williams and Bell also added detail to the night Jerry Sloan coached his last game with the Jazz and the star’s sudden exit from Utah.
You can listen to the entire episode here. Warning, user discretion is advised.
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