Yesterday, the Brooklyn Nets acquired Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks for Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Williams, a sign-and-trade with Deshawn Stevenson, and the Rockets lottery-protected 2013 draft pick. This was the first major move that the Brooklyn Nets have made this offseason, and it was an important and great move. The Nets were able to hold on to the players they wanted: Marshon Brooks, Gerald Green, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez, and they acquired a 6-time all star.
They also traded all their disappointing scrubs from last year. Anthony Morrow is a great shooter, but can’t do much else. Jordan Farmar is a servicable backup point guard, but he is not an NBA starter. Johan Petro is arguably the worst player in the NBA. Jordan Williams was a second-round pick last season and did not show much promise. Deshawn Stevenson was also arguably the worst player in the NBA. And a lottery-protected draft pick is not worth a 6-time all star.
By acquiring Johnson and also resigning Gerald Wallace, the Nets have two players entering the 10th year of their career. Johnson is 31 years old and was drafted with the 10th pick out of the University of Arkansas. Since being traded to Atlanta in 2005, JJ has averaged over 18 ppg every season. Over his career, he also averages close to 5 rpg and 5 apg. His numbers have began to decline slightly over the last 2 years, and he is moving towards the end of his prime now. However, the Nets are in win-now mode, and Johnson will definitely be able to help them next season.
The biggest problem with Johnson is his contract. Over the next 4 years, he will be owed $80 million, which is $20 million per year. He is the highest payed player in the NBA, but he is definitely not the best. However, the Nets are clearly better off with him than without him, and Deron Williams reportedly likes his game. This also shows Deron that the Nets are serious about winning now, and their goal is to be championship contenders next season. With Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez, Marshon Brooks, and Deron Williams, why shouldn’t they be considered among the favorites in the eastern conference?
Another problem with Johnson is his playoff history. He is not a very clutch player and the Hawks have not played well in the playoffs since Johnson has arrived in Atlanta. But the Nets should be happy to make the playoffs next season, and if they can even win one series, I would be happy.
Many think that this trade officially concludes the Dwightmare, and the Nets will never acquire Dwight Howard. I am fine with this. If Howard really wants to come to the Nets, he will play out this year in Orlando or wherever he will be traded, and come to the Nets next season by accepting less money. I doubt this will happen, but I am relieved that we hopefully won’t be hearing about any more Dwight Howard to the Nets trade rumors any more.
Even if the Nets can’t sign Deron Williams, they should be solid playoff contenders next year and will not flop when the Barclays Center opens. However, Deron Williams could make this team great, and maybe even a future NBA title winner.