HANG TIME CAPITAL BUREAU – The Brooklyn Nets are “very close” to acquiring six-time All-Star guard Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for guards Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson and centers Jordan Williams and Johan Petro, as well as a protected first-round pick that came from Houston, according to a league source.
The deal, the source said, would be completed whether or not Brooklyn is able to convince free agent guard Deron Williams to re-sign with the team. Williams is entertaining an offer from the Dallas Mavericks as well.
Brooklyn, however, is hopeful that Williams will want to stay after the addition of Johnson, whom the Nets coveted before he became a free agent in 2010. The deal also allows the Nets to keep promising guard MarShon Brooks, who played well for the team last season as a rookie and would help comprise a strong three-guard rotation with Williams and Johnson.
The trade would dramatically change the look of the Hawks’ roster and eliminate Brooklyn from being able to make a potential deal for Magic center Dwight Howard, who wants to go there. The Nets would be taking on the final four years and $89.2 million of Johnson’s contract, after agreeing over the weekend to a new four-year, $40 million deal with forward Gerald Wallace.
That would give Atlanta significant cap relief going forward; the Hawks have made the playoffs five straight seasons, but have been unable to add much significant talent outside of the team’s core group the last few years because they were hamstrung by Johnson’s $124 million deal.
The contracts for Farmar, who opted in to the final year of his contract over the weekend, Petro and Morrow all expire after this season. Jordan Williams has a club option year after this season. Stevenson would have to agree to a sign-and-trade deal to Atlanta for the deal to work.
Howard reiterated his request to be traded to Brooklyn last week to the Magic’s new general manager, Rob Hennigan. But the Magic weren’t interested in any of the proposed deals Brooklyn had on the table for Howard, and the Nets decided to move ahead with the Johnson deal. Brooklyn officials are meeting with Williams Monday.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the talks between Brooklyn and Atlanta on Friday.
NBA.com’s Sekou Smith contributed to this report.