Via Los That Sports Blog:
The Brooklyn Nets have made the first big move of the offseason — and perhaps the first of several for them — by reaching a deal to acquire All-Star guard Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks for Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams and DeShawn Stevenson (via sign and trade), according to multiple reports.
All players that the Nets would be sending to the Hawks, with the exception of Stevenson, have expiring contracts equaling a total of approximately $12.5 million. The Nets also would send a 2013 first-round draft pick they acquired from the Rockets to Atlanta.
Johnson was traded to the Hawks by the Suns via sign and trade in 2005, and re-signed with the Hawks for six years and $123.7 million in 2010. Despite lofty expectations due to his enormous contract, Johnson has averaged 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds in seven seasons with Atlanta.
The deal, which doesn't become official until July 11, would give the Nets 1) a face of the franchise in their inaugural move to Brooklyn if All-Star guard Deron Williams chooses not to return, and 2) a backcourt scorer to pair with Williams if he decides to remain with the Nets.
The trade helps the Hawks free up cap space for the present as well as the future. The Hawks had only six players under contract for next season and the remaining four years and $89.2 million left on Johnson’s deal limited the team’s flexibility to fill its roster effectively.
Conversely, the trade all but eliminates the Nets from the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. If Williams does re-sign, Brooklyn will not have the cap space for another max contract, which leaves the Lakers and the Mavs as the most likely destinations for the disgruntled Magic big man.
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