On Monday, the Nets agreed in principle to a trade with the Atlanta Hawks to acquire guard Joe Johnson, according to ESPN. In return, the Hawks will receive a bevy of expiring contracts and role players as well as a future first-round pick.
The deal, as it was arranged on Monday, would send the expiring deals of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with Deshawn Stevenson and a first-round draft pick (lottery protected in 2013 via Houston) to Atlanta.
The current framework allows the Nets some leeway as they seek to retain the services of free-agent point guard Deron Williams as well as provide the franchise with a backup plan if they fail to land Howard, the Orlando Magic center.
Brooklyn will still have the room to sign Williams to a long-term deal and could even offer free-agent center Brook Lopez a new contract if Howard isn’t traded. The Nets were also able to keep promising young guard MarShon Brooks in the move, as they’re hoping he can be a building block of the team moving forward in their new home.
Johnson provides the Nets with a fresh face for fans to cheer as they move into their new arena just outside of New York City, but he also comes at a cost. Johnson still has four years and $90 million left on his current contract.
As long as the deal goes through, the Nets will have settled two of their starting five positions in the past few days as they already agreed to a deal with forward Gerald Wallace for four years and $40 million.
Meanwhile, Hawks GM Danny Ferry has been busy outside of the Johnson trade. Atlanta traded former No. 2 overall selection Marvin Williams on Monday as well, according to ESPN. The Hawks sent Williams to the Utah Jazz in return for point guard Devin Harris.