The Nets have been Trade Rumor Central for well over a year now, but most of the speculation has focused on acquiring Dwight Howard. Now, New Jersey is apparently targeting a very different partner for free-agent guard Deron Williams.
Brooklyn and Atlanta are engaged in talks on a possible Joe Johnson trade, sources tell Y! Nets plan would be to pair with Deron Williams.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2012
No details of the proposed deal are available at this writing, but the prospect of Johnson in a Nets uniform has to have Brooklyn fans salivating.
Adding a scorer like Johnson would be a terrific incentive for Williams to re-sign with New Jersey instead of jumping to Dallas. The two guards (and their combined nine All-Star appearances) would make New Jersey’s backcourt formidable enough to turn a 22-44 team into a borderline playoff contender—presuming Brook Lopez is healthy next year.
Of course, Lopez might well be heading out of town, because it’s hard to imagine whom else the Hawks might be hoping to acquire in such a deal. Johnson’s outstanding performance hasn’t added up to much playoff success for the team, and new GM Danny Ferry would hardly be foolish enough to give Johnson away for nothing.
That said, a shakeup is probably in order in Atlanta; and if the Nets can make a reasonable offer for Johnson, Ferry could be well served by pulling the trigger. After five straight playoff trips without even a Conference Finals appearance, the core of Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford may well have run out of chances to succeed as a group.
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