When you have a superstar player—someone who is a franchise player, the most dominant player at his position and someone who has openly said that he wants to be part of your franchise—what do you do?
Well, most teams and most sane people would say: "Go get that player!"
Well unfortunately, the Brooklyn Nets do not fall under that category, as they passed up the chance to obtain a top five player and one of the premier defensive players in the league in Dwight Howard in favor of the highest paid player in the league in Joe Johnson.
Not only does this trade prevent the Nets from having a potentially formidable Deron Williams-Dwight Howard combination, but they may have lost the opportunity to have either player play for them.
Do you really think Deron Williams is going to re-sign with the Nets to play with Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, especially since Williams has been open to the possibility of playing with Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks?
Look, I have nothing against Joe Johnson, but he is definitely not in Dwight Howard's class. Johnson—as Atlanta's franchise player—failed to take the Hawks out of the second round or win a division crown. Throw in his ridiculous contract—which has 4 years and $89 million remaining on it—and there is no feasible reason behind this trade.
Instead of building around two All-Stars, the Nets will now have to build around Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson. If this was 2008, this team would have a great season—especially when you throw in Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries. But unfortunately this is 2012, and neither Wallace nor Johnson are All-Stars anymore.
Destroying your cap space for the next four years, sacrificing the opportunity to obtain Dwight Howard and increasing the possibility of Deron Williams leaving is all the Brooklyn Nets achieved with this trade. A franchise that has become the laughing stock of the league has set a new benchmark of stupidity.
I thought the Gerald Wallace trade—in which the Nets gave up a pick that turned out to by the sixth overall selection in the 2012 NBA draft—was indefensible. But this trade makes that move look like pure genius.
The Nets could've had a Dwight Howard-Deron Williams combo leading them during their inaugural season—an All-NBA combination good enough to lead the Nets deep into the playoffs.
Instead, Nets fans will see there new team led by Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace—two players that are both overpaid and over the hill.