Even Deron Williams was surprised when Nets general manager Billy King first informed his star player of plans to bring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.

“I knew [Billy] was trying to get Paul and I thought that was done” Williams said Thursday. “Then he called me and was like ‘I’m trying to get KG too’ and I told him there was no way you can do it.
“That’s what I said. … I almost hung up on him. There’s no way you can get both of them but he did it.”

The megatrade which also brought Jason Terry to the Nets was one of several big moves King pulled off this summer. By the time he was done revamping the Nets – who will have a payroll of over $100 million this season in addition to nearly $90 million in luxury-tax payments – he had assembled a team Williams said was deeper than any he’s played on including his Jazz squad that made one trip to the Western Conference Finals.

“A lot of the teams in Utah were good but I don’t think they were as deep as this” Williams said. “I think that might have been a little bit of our problem and we weren’t as big you know?

“We kept running into the Lakers and we just had no answer for them inside to their length. [Carlos Boozer] was only 6-8 … I’ll give him a couple inches” Williams added with a smile. “This team is definitely … I’m excited. I’m excited. I feel like we have a chance. Nothing is going to be given to us and we’re going to go in and work hard and stay together as a team and we’ll be fine.”

One of the biggest moves the Nets made was convincing Andrei Kirilenko – one of the linchpins of those Utah teams alongside Williams and Boozer – to sign for one year at the mini-midlevel exception giving the Nets one of the league’s most versatile players as well as an excellent perimeter defender. Having Kirilenko will allow coach Jason Kidd to deploy all kinds of different and creative lineup combinations.
And Williams who has remained friendly with Kirilenko since being traded from the Jazz in 2011 did his part to recruit his old running mate to Brooklyn.