NBA Free Agency has started with more rumors than you can shake a stick at but the first big move of the summer season isn’t a free agent signing.
No, it is the pending trade of the Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets for Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams Johan Petro, as well as a protected first-round pick. (The trade can’t be official until the NBA moratorium is lifted July 11)
Many knock Johnson (18.8 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds last season) for his ridiculous max contract which still has four years and $89.2 million owed on it. Johnson and his contract have been labeled “untradeable” yet new Hawks GM, Danny Ferry, has found a taker for the 6-time All-star in the Nets.
The trade makes sense for Brooklyn who is trying to overhaul their roster with players who will fill their new stadium come the 2012-2013 season. It is also a show of good faith to their own free agent, Deron Williams, that they are serious about becoming a contender for a championship.
Williams is rumored to be on board with the trade for Johnson although Dwight Howard remains the apple of Williams’ eye as a teammate. In the meantime the Nets hope that Johnson, MarShon Brooks, along with the recently re-signed Gerald Wallace (4 years $40 million) will be enough for Williams to sign a max deal and lead the Nets into their Brooklyn future.
A backcourt of Williams and Johnson would be as formidable as any in the NBA and Brooklyn hopes this is just the first step towards building a contender.
It all hinges on Williams who met with both the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets representatives on Monday. A decision is expected in the next two days.
Brooklyn awaits anxiously.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com