The Brooklyn Nets' aspirations of pairing Deron Williams and Dwight Howard might be petering out, according to one report. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Nets could be in the process of making a trade with the Atlanta Hawks for swingman Joe Johnson that would give Brooklyn a top-line backcourt and allow the Hawks to dump Johnson's remaining $90 million contract.
There are a number of factors at play. Most notably, Orlando's will have to decide whether or not they'll trade Howard -- who has one year remaining on his contract -- as well as Williams, who has yet to decide on his future with either the Nets or his hometown Dallas Mavericks:
It's doubtful Nets GM Billy King would make a deal for Johnson without the blessing of Williams and an assurance from Williams that he would re-sign with the Nets
King and new Atlanta GM Danny Ferry – former Duke teammates and close friends – have discussed the possibility of a Johnson trade that would mostly constitute a salary dump for the Hawks.
While Brooklyn's future is almost completely in flux and suffering no shortage of differing opinions as to the direction of the relocated franchise, there's a consensus among Atlanta fans that shedding Johnson would create a bright new future:
If Joe Johnson were to be traded it would be nearly universally celebrated by fans. Not good when bad contracts happen to good people.— Peachtree Hoops (@peachtreehoops) July 1, 2012