With the NBA's free agency period beginning on July 1, the Brooklyn Nets are wasting no time in trying to persuade Deron Williams to stay in the Northeast and not return home to Dallas.
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Nets are in trade talks with the Atlanta Hawks about All-Star SG Joe Johnson:
Brooklyn and Atlanta are engaged in talks on a possible Joe Johnson trade, sources tell Y! Nets plan would be to pair with Deron Williams.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2012
It's hard to see what assets they could offer the Hawks, asides from the possibility of allowing Atlanta to get out from under the massive contract they gave Johnson in 2010. But with Josh Smith approaching free agency, the Hawks may be willing to sell Johnson for pennies on the dollar to avoid paying the luxury tax.
Such a move could help the Nets bolster their roster to counter a Mavericks pitch to Williams based around playing with Dirk Nowitzki. Of course, the whole thing may be nothing more than a smoke-screen to placate Williams, but it's definitely something Dallas fans should be paying a close eye on as one of the most important free agent periods in franchise history begins.