Atlanta Hawks dump salary; trade Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams

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It appears the Atlanta Hawks are heading into a bit of a re-building mode as new general manager Danny Ferry has dealt Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets and Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz; clearing up a ton of salary cap for the future.

Nets receive: SG-Joe Johnson
Hawks receive: SG-Anthony Morrow, G/F-DeShawn Stevenson, C-Johan Petro, PG-Jordan Farmar, PF-Jordan Williams, lottery protected 2013 1st round pick (via Houston)

Why this makes sense for Brooklyn:
The Nets are trying add to more star talent in hopes of A) luring Deron Williams to re-sign with the team and B) having a plan B in case D-Will doesn’t return to the franchise.  Brooklyn pretty much gives up a bunch of mediocre at best players to land one of the better shooting guards in the league even though he is still owed around $89 million over the next four years (GULP!)

This deal does leave the former residents of New Jersey with just four players under contract; Johnson, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, and restricted free agent Brook Lopez. It also eliminates any possibility of Dwight Howard joining the team.  It is certainly an aggressive play for the Nets but one that could kill their cap flexibility for the next several years.

Why this makes sense for Atlanta:
New Hawks GM Danny Ferry ain’t messing around.  With Johnson eating up more than a third of Atlanta’s cap space, Ferry quickly dumped the max contract JJ signed just two summers ago. Atlanta was already over the expected league salary cap though they only had seven players under contract.  This deal provides them with depth for the time being, but more importantly opens up a ton of cap flexibility for the next few years as none of the acquired pieces have guaranteed deals past this up-coming season.  In fact, Farmar is expected to be cut which will save them even more money. In all, the Hawks free up approximately $77 million by pulling the trigger on this trade.

Hawks receive: PG-Devin Harris
Jazz receive: SF-Marvin Williams

Why this makes sense for Atlanta:
Following up the contract dump of trading Johnson, the Hawks can save even more for the future since Williams has a $7.5 million option for the 2013-14 season while Harris is in the final year of his contract.  Harris also adds some experience to the point guard position where Jeff Teague played so-so last season in his first year as a starter. The former Wisconsin Badger is also able to play off the ball so he can help fill the void left by Johnson at the two.

Why this makes sense for Utah:
In acquiring Mo Williams from the Clips this past weekend, the Jazz had a pair of starting point guard caliber players on their roster.  They do have a need for depth on the wing with both C.J. Miles and Josh Howard being unrestricted free agents.  However, I am not sure why they were in such a hurry to deal Harris especially for somebody like Williams who has underachieved his entire career in the A-T-L.

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