According to a tweet from Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks are close to agreeing on a trade that would send Atlanta shooting guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn, and a deal could be completed as soon as today.
However, if the reported deal falls through, one particular fallback option would be restricted free agent OJ Mayo.
A plethora of drama has centered around the Brooklyn Nets franchise recently, including:
- the Joe Johnson rumor
- the team's move to Brooklyn into the new Barclays Center
- the impending decision on whether star point guard Deron Williams will stay in Brooklyn or go elsewhere
- disgruntled Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard stating he wants to be traded to the Nets.
If Brooklyn is indeed able to acquire Johnson from Atlanta, it could have a domino effect on Williams' status with the Nets.
Williams was acquired by the New Jersey Nets in a 2011 blockbuster trade with the Utah Jazz, and was—at the time, at least—the most noteworthy acquisition of Mikhail Prokhorov's tenure as owner of the Nets.
However, ever since then the franchise has attempted to convince Williams to sign a long term contract. In recent weeks, momentum has been in the Nets' favor in their bid to retain the point guard.
If Brooklyn is able to acquire Johnson, that would seem to only confirm that Williams will stay with the Nets.
As far as what Johnson would be able to bring to Brooklyn if a trade is executed, he is one of the more reliable scorers in the NBA, consistently averaging 18-20 points per game year in and year out for Atlanta.
In addition to his well-documented offensive skills, he is also decent defensively and could provide an extra rebounding presence as well.
If Johnson becomes a Brooklyn Net, he would instantly make the long-struggling franchise instant contenders for a playoff berth next season; and he and Williams—assuming the point guard does indeed return—could provide an excellent incentive for top free agents to sign with the Nets.
As discussed earlier, this is yet another rumor surrounding the Brooklyn Nets franchise and they will definitely be one of the more interesting teams to watch during this already busy offseason.