The Brooklyn Nets have been the subject of many rumors throughout the NBA offseason — most notably as the preferred destination for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. However, the reality is that the Nets could end up not landing Howard, so they need to have a backup plan.
One of those plans was to bring in another star player to convince guard Deron Williams to stay with the team.
Now, according to ESPN sources, the Nets have verbally agreed to a trade with the Atlanta Hawks that would bring guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn. In return, the Hawks would receive Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson (via sign-and-trade) and the Rockets’ 2013 lottery protected first-round pick.
Brooklyn would not only get Johnson, but also a $5 million mid-level exception and a $1.95 million bi-annual exception, so they could continue to add to the roster.
Of course, the deal is contingent on whether Williams will return to the Nets and the Nets and Williams have already begun talking about the trade that would bring in Johnson to join forces with Williams.
The trade will likely take the Nets out of the running for Orlando’s Dwight Howard, but it does give them a formidable one-two punch, while giving Hawks general manager Danny Ferry a boatload of salary cap room for next offseason. The Nets were interested in acquiring Howard, but the Magic were unwilling to negotiate.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, a Nets source said ’They didn’t want to dance with us. Dwight blew it in March,” when he waived his opt-out clause.