Oakland, Calif. » A day after the Jazz traded his self-described "little brother," Deron Williams sharply questioned Friday the direction the team was going after the deal that sent Ronnie Brewer to the Memphis Grizzlies for a future first-round draft pick.
"I think if we'd make a trade it would be something a little different than that," Williams said at the pregame shootaround. "You look at all the teams that are getting better around the West and we essentially get worse, if you ask me."
Williams didn't hide his frustration in talking to reporters and broadcasters, starting off by saying, "I really ain't got nothing much good to say about the trade," and declaring it was "pretty safe to say" his feelings were shared among the team.
Asked whether the Brewer trade affected his thinking about his long-term future in Utah, Williams shot back, "That's why I signed a three-year deal."
Williams never before has brought up the contract extension he signed in July 2008 in such terms. Rather than opting for a full five-year extension, Williams signed a three-year deal with a player option for a fourth year, giving him an out from Utah after the 2011-12 season.
Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor declined to comment, as did chief executive Greg Miller. The Jazz have trimmed some $10.5 million from their luxury-tax bill this season at the same time they have climbed the standings to third in the West.
Wearing a yellow headband and two yellow wristbands, Brewer had two points in 12 minutes in his Memphis debut Friday before leaving with a hamstring injury.
With the deal completed just minutes before Thursday's 1 p.m. MDT deadline, Brewer had to be pulled off the Jazz's plane. Williams said he had "two seconds" to say goodbye. "Probably one of the quietest flights we've had just because we were in shock," he said.
"Nobody thought there was going to be a move made because it got to the deadline," C.J. Miles said, "and the move that was made, I guess nobody agrees with because of how we were playing and what was going on.
"Everybody's upset, but I think it's more of a friendship thing than looking at it as it could have happened with anybody on the team."
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan called it an "awkward situation" with Brewer finding out about the trade on the plane. He was asked if he was upset with losing a player he has praised for his development the last three-plus seasons.
"I was serious when I said I'm not crazy about making trades," Sloan said. "If that's what has to be done or what we do, let's go on and do it and go on about our business."
Wesley Matthews took over Brewer's starting spot Friday but said he was in "disbelief" on the flight after the trade. Matthews saw coaches and teammates leave in college, but said it was tougher watching Eric Maynor and Brewer get traded in his first NBA season.
"For whatever reason in the pros, it hits a little harder," Matthews said, "just because you're around each other so much and it's such a long season."
With the Jazz having won 15 of 17 games, Williams was asked if he was concerned about the Brewer trade halting the team's momentum.
"Hopefully, not," Williams said. "We've just got to keep playing. It stinks that these things happen in the NBA. Like I said the other day, it doesn't really happen with us too much. We've just got to keep playing, keep winning."
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