Nuggets had eyes for Jazz's Williams

By Benjamin Hochman

At the NBA All-Star Game next weekend, George Karl will coach Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony.

That could have been an everyday occurrence if fate hadn’t detoured.

The Nuggets coach said Saturday that back in 2005, Denver had a trade
on the table with Atlanta, which had the No. 2 pick in the draft. The
plan was for the Nuggets to draft Williams, now an all-star for the

"I don’t know why we didn’t do it or what happened, but there’s no question that I thought he’d be a great player," Karl said. "I like him because his passion and energy for the game is contagious. It’s fun to watch and it’s difficult to play against."

Atlanta ultimately kept that pick and selected Marvin Williams. Deron Williams went third to Utah.

Karl spoke Saturday about the ill-fated draft workout he attended in the summer of 2005, which he called a "$100,000 party." Karl attended a workout at Marquette to see his son, Coby, but Deron Williams was there too. Williams had yet to officially declare for the draft. Karl was fined $200,000 and suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season.

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