The Nets have agreed in principle to acquire All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson from Atlanta, according to two league sources.
Brooklyn would get Johnson for DeShawn Stevenson and the expiring contracts of Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow, the sources said. Stevenson, a free agent, would go to Atlanta via a sign-and-trade deal, and the Hawks would also receive the Rockets' lottery-protected first-round pick in 2013.
The trade can't be finalized until July 11, when the free-agent moratorium ends.
A source involved in the trade talks said the deal is not contingent on Brooklyn's re-signing free-agent point guard Deron Williams. Williams' meeting with the Nets on Monday "went well," according to the source, but there was no word of a decision. If the Hawks trade goes through, it could also signal the end of Magic center Dwight Howard's grand plan of joining Williams in Brooklyn.
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Howard met with Magic officials on Friday in Los Angeles and told new general manager Rob Hennigan that there was only one team with which he would sign an extension if he was traded there. That team is widely known to be the Nets, meaning that Howard might have to adjust his strategy yet again if Brooklyn further ties up its payroll in this trade. The Nets on Sunday also agreed to a four-year, $40 million deal with forward Gerald Wallace.
A source with knowledge of the situation said Hennigan wasn't interested in any of the pieces that the Nets were offering for Howard.
"They never really got the ball rolling," the source said of the Magic in recent days. "I know Rob came out and said Dwight wanted to go to the Nets, but I don't think Rob wanted to trade him to the Nets."
It's unclear where Hennigan will turn next. The Magic have reportedly had recent talks with the Lakers and Houston about Howard.
The Hawks, meanwhile, would be shedding the 31-year-old Johnson's enormous deal, which is worth $89 million over the next four seasons. The move would confirm what was suspected not long after Atlanta named Danny Ferry its general manager on June 25: that he was looking to shake up the roster in a big way.
The Johnson deal -- coupled with Ferry's money-saving trade of small forward Marvin Williams to Utah for point guard Devin Harris on Monday, confirmed by a source with knowledge of the deal -- has put the Hawks in position to have massive salary-cap space next summer, when Atlanta native Howard and Clippers point guard Chris Paul are set to lead the free-agent class.