Making Moves: NBA Free Agency 2012 - Joe Johnson Traded to the
New Jersey Brooklyn Nets
Joe Johnson will go to the Brooklyn Nets while Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, and a 2013 lottery protected 1st round draft pick (via the Houston Rockets) are headed to the Atlanta Hawks.
The most amazing detail of this trade? Joe Johnson’s contract was supposedly “untradable.” He’s owed $19.8 million in 12-13, $21.5 in 13-14, $23.2 in 14-15, and almost $25 mil in 15-16. This (along with Rashard Lewis’ recently bought-out 21 million that was traded TWICE) should solidify the fact that any contract can be traded, no matter how bad they are.
Word is that this trade (that won’t be official until July 11th) is not contingent with attempts to resign Deron Williams, so whether or not D-Will stays in Brooklyn or otherwise, Johnson is a Net. If anything, this may deter any thoughts that the Nets would trade for Dwight Howard who has said that he would only sign an extension with one team (which might be the Nets…). With this trade, the Nets will have about $50 million in cap space for possibly three players: Johnson, Gerald Wallace, and Deron Williams if he resigns. Money may not be a problem for majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov and he may even be willing to pay into the luxury tax… but don’t expect three max contracts on this roster in the future (remember: Lebron, Wade, and Bosh had to all take smaller contracts to play together).
My take on this move: the Nets were searching for some sort of “consolation” if a Dwight Howard trade wouldn’t work out. Yes, the Nets had trade assets, but not necessarily assets the Orlando Magic would want. The Magic is a team that, post-Dwight, wants to rebuild with young pieces (i.e. through draft picks or promising young players still on rookie contracts). Aside from MarShon Brooks (and to a lesser extent Brook Lopez), the Nets simply do not have enough of those type of pieces that the Magic would want. Instead, they have a ton of smaller expiring contracts that would help a team wanting more cap space in the near future. That team happened to be the Atlanta Hawks, who still have key core players Josh Smith and Al Horford and managed to get rid of a terrible contract.
And in spite of taking on Johnson’s terrible contract, the Nets left this trade in a fair position. Everything hangs on the resigning of Deron Williams, but if he does resign, the Nets are surely expected to be a playoff team. D-Will, Johnson, Wallace, Brooks, and Lopez is a solid core that can at least make the 2nd round of the Playoffs. Secondly, they were able to keep MarShon Brooks, Gerald Green, and their own 2013 draft pick, all the most coveted pieces the Nets have in trade talks.
Yes, a team’s ultimate goal is to earn a Championship, but after a 22-44 season placing 12th in the East, this is a step in a… better direction.
(via Y! Sports)