First it was Gilbert Arenas’ “untradeable” contract. Then it was Rashard Lewis’ (twice!). Now, Joe Johnson’s “untradeable” contract looks to be on the move. Signed in the days before this current (more strict) CBA, when such massive contracts were merely frowned upon, Johnson is set to make almost $90 million over the next four years. The Brooklyn Nets however are becoming desperate as they lose hope that they can trade for Dwight Howard. The Nets believe that landing an All Star like Johnson will be enough to convince Deron Williams to stay in Brooklyn.
Currently, the offer on the table is said to be Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, DeShawn Stevenson (via sign-and-trade) and a future first round pick for Johnson. That is a fairly putrid package but it goes to show how badly Atlanta wants to get Johnson’s salary off their books (all of those players have just 1 year left on their contract). The holdup at the moment, it seems, is Atlanta’s insistence that the Nets also include MarShon Brooks into the deal, which Brooklyn is reluctant to do.
The trade would effectively see the Nets out of the running for Dwight Howard, as they would be capped out and needing to work out a trade, for which they lack attractive assets to deal. It does suggest however that the Nets are fairly confident that Deron Williams will return, as they would be unlikely to make such a big move without his blessing.