As far as Jazz CEO Greg Miller and general manager Kevin O'Connor are concerned, the time was right to trade their best player, all-star point guard Deron Williams.

Williams was traded Wednesday, the day before the NBA trade deadline, to New Jersey for guard Devin Harris, rookie forward Derrick Favors, a pair of draft choices and money.

The trade came days after a report that Williams told associates he wanted to play for New York after his current contract was up and two weeks after Utah coach Jerry Sloan resigned, reportedly in part because of conflicts with Williams.

"Nobody likes to lose a marquee player, but given all of the uncertainty about our ability to get a deal done with Deron Williams' contract beyond the existing one, I felt the deal with the New Jersey Nets was by far our best option," Miller said. "This trade will allow the Utah Jazz to preserve our assets and to control our destiny."

Miller pointed to Cleveland, Phoenix and Toronto as examples of teams that got little if anything when their star players, LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire and Chris Bosh, left via free agency.

"What it boiled down for me was my gut sense of whether we'd be able to sign Deron," Miller said. "While I never saw any indication that he wouldn't sign with us, I never saw any indication that he would sign with us."

The Jazz were also influenced by what has transpired this year with Carmelo Anthony, who was traded to New York on Tuesday after rumors about his impending free agency all season while he played for Denver.