Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry focused on salary cap ‘flexibility’ with trades

The word new Hawks GM Danny Ferry kept using after the draft Thursday was “flexibility” and nothing would create it more than trading guard Joe Johnson’s contract for players with shorter deals.

The Hawks were not close to any trades as of this afternoon, according to a person with knowledge of their plans, but talks are fluid. They’ve continued discussions with the Nets about Johnson, and clearly Brooklyn (feels weird to write that) has plenty of expiring contracts to offer in return.

Update 4:55 p.m.: ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that a discussed proposal would have the Nets sending Atlanta Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams. According to Stein, the Hawks are insisting that former Tucker High star MarShon Brooks be included in the deal while Brooklyn would rather Atlanta take on one of its free agents in a sign-and-trade.

Stein also reports the Nets won’t make the trade until free agent guard Deron Williams commits to re-signing. Williams reportedly will meet with Brooklyn and Dallas tomorrow.

The Hawks could swing a deal that leaves them with massive amounts of cap space next summer. The Nets also have about $4.4 million in trade exceptions available, which function as a credit to be used against the salary-matching requirements. That means the Hawks could take back significantly less salary in a trade with the Nets.

It’s still possible all of this trade talk leads to no deals now and the Hawks wait until later in the summer or next season to pursue trades. But already it’s clear that Ferry is willing to trade a piece of the team’s proverbial “core” in an effort to gain cap space to re-build the roster.

In addition to Johnson, the Hawks have been open to moving forward Josh Smith though they’ve resisted offers so far. Apparently the Hawks balked at a potential deal with the Lakers for Pau Gasol because L.A. wanted another major piece to go along with Smith. That would leave the Hawks with less than six players under contract, less talent, and no short-term cap relief because of the $38 million and two years remaining on Gasol’s contract.

Before Ferry was hired, Smith told the Hawks he wants to be traded to a franchise he considers to be more committed to winning a championship. There’s been no indication that Smith has changed his mind after Ferry’s hire, which does nothing to placate Smith’s desire to also play in what he believes to be a better sports market. Smith’s contract expires after next season.

Ferry said he plans to meet with Smith soon.

“I have talked to Josh, and we agreed to get together,” he said. “It was a positive conversation.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
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564 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

July 2nd, 2012
10:45 am

Sources are saying Dwight ONLY wants to go to Brooklyn. If he doesn’t get traded there , then he will sign there next summer. So would Brookly still want Joe if Dwight is coming? Can they afford Deron, Dwight & Joe? Would they still take Joe if Deron goes to the Mavs (assuming they can acquire Dwiht)? It seems to me that they have to get at least one of those guys on board before they trade for Joe.

Ra'mon

July 2nd, 2012
10:47 am

O’Brien, I know. But as I said, 7 footers develop slower than other players. Look at Rik Smit and others. The fact that Hibbert’s presence on the defensive end is at least worth a 7-11 points difference in the score. That is a huge impact that can’t be understated. As I said, at the end of the day the most important stat is win/loss record.

Me

July 2nd, 2012
10:48 am

SteveW.

Why would you want that? Come back to Earth. Thats not good for Atlanta.

Me

July 2nd, 2012
10:52 am

SteveW.

Most of what you are asking for is being offer for Joe Johnson alone. Why would you offer pieces when you don’t have to?

Sautee

July 2nd, 2012
10:53 am

AJ, is Anakin making a comeback?

“I’d rather have a lottery pick than watch them hopefully win 1 game in the playoffs.”

AJ, you DO realize that even WITH Joe we only won 2 games this year in the playoffs. We are truly in basketball purgatory.

I’m patient enough to wait and see all of Ferry’s off-season moves before I’ll put on sack cloth and ashes and declare the current Hawks a corpse. But hey, if you are trying to beat the rush, then ok.

Melvin

July 2nd, 2012
10:55 am

I think a very interesting scenario is developing for next summer free agency period.
If the Nets get Joe, Lakers get D12, Celtics resign all their vets and some FAs along with the Bulls, Heat, Clippers and Knicks all over the salary cap and the Hawks under the salary cap. Exactly where is the better sports city/franchise than Atlanta that will have the salary cap space to sign Josh? If Josh insist on leaving the Hawks after this season than he may have to work with the Hawks in a S&T deal in order to go to his preferred destination. So if I was the Hawks, I wouldn’t feel pressured to trade him before the trading deadline.

doc

July 2nd, 2012
11:00 am

Well AJ and OB I see Andre Miller finally got some respect. He has signed a three year deal in Denver with Karl to stay out his career. He would have been perfect for us as he left Philly. It is the guy I would have persued heavily and maybe his total cost to date would have been lower than the whole of what we paid of Bibby without the cost of having to deal to get Hinrich. That is who I often compare Bibby to and we failed to go higher as Andre made his rounds while we sat and paid out of our azzes to have the “luxury” of having a declining Bibby to get us in the playoffs maybe one year.

Bibby was more expensive and cost us Chills in his prime years or someone of equal ilk, shortened our bench and negated any attempt to accommodate the need of a real big because of his contract with al, Joeh and JJ combined leaving little room to maneuver without us going into the tax badlands the BASG refused to go. Good for Andre.

Welll will it be a smokescreen or are we really leaving the summer of sameness?

bigdave

July 2nd, 2012
11:00 am

Not to mention CP3 didn’t extend his contract, will be a FA next summer… reports say it wasn’t just a money move

J.J.M.

July 2nd, 2012
11:01 am

I think the nets can afford dwight next season but not this season if they get deron and joe. Also I think as a owner I would wait till next season so I can see how dwight plays coming off that back injury/surgery.

FreshFromATL

July 2nd, 2012
11:04 am

Looks like trade talks are heating up between Hawks and Magic according to SI.

Astro Joe

July 2nd, 2012
11:06 am

Sautee, sure with Joe and a hurt Josh, Zaza and Al, we only won 2 playoff games. Not to mention we had homecourt advantage this past summer. I would not expect an Al, Josh and Teague core to produce a near 60% winning percentage during the regular season. If your best case forecast is closer to the 8th seed, what’s the point (especialliy if you’re in rebuild mode)? Tell Josh and Al to go fishing a month early and land that lottery pick.

FuriousCalm

July 2nd, 2012
11:10 am

1. Many are assuming Orlando cares what Dwight wants. They could trade him to whoever offers him the best package in return or anyone not Brooklyn out of spite.

2. Others are assuming Brooklyn cares what Dwight wants (anymore). It was reported earlier that the JJ to Brooklyn deal was a backup plan if the Dwight deal didn’t work and because the Nets we’re tired of trying to work out a deal for him (if I recall correctly).

He’s coming off of back surgery, wants a lot of $$$ and maybe too much influence in the front office. One of the faces of the NBA has somehow turned into a migraine for GMs, are most teams still interested with all the baggage? Obviously some are.

Ray

July 2nd, 2012
11:17 am

Dang it blog monster ate up my post GRRRR!!!

Hoops

July 2nd, 2012
11:20 am

I understand that D. Howard is a great talent, but not many coaches are going to politic for their GM to sign him after what happened to Stan Van Gundy. Most would say that D. Howard was the major influence that caused that coach to be fired!

Ray

July 2nd, 2012
11:28 am

@ Hoops

Everyone knows that D.Howard is the reason SVG was fired it’s too late for him on that front.

Still everyone posting trades let us get done with this one first.

Everyone b*tching a moaning about these scrubs we get back truth is it’s better than nothing just getting out of that one contract that chained us down for 6 years is the best darn thing ever right now.

Astro Joe

July 2nd, 2012
11:31 am

Ray, Joe’s contract did NOT chain us down for 6 years. he signed it two summers ago.

Ray

July 2nd, 2012
11:31 am

We just need to give Ferry time at least I’m actually excited for the offseason more so than the past 8 years for the hawks.

Especially now that MC has told us there are like 50+ players the hawks want to go after. Just like others were saying it wasn’t fair to judge Ferry with the work that happened in Cleveland that was more the owner’s fault in every way possible.

Even the coach Mike Brown didn’t have much control over what happened.

Ray

July 2nd, 2012
11:37 am

Astro Joe

Was his contract not 6 years and 120 million I’m saying if he were to carry it out we’re chained down for 6 years now we would only have 4 years left included this season upcoming if he stays.

STRETCH

July 2nd, 2012
11:38 am

Marc Stein and Chad Ford update their report on the Nets pursuit of Joe Johnson early Monday with news that the deal remains stuck on the issue of whether MarShon Brooks should be dispatched to Atlanta. However, it now appears that the Hawks are willing to accept a signed-and-traded DeShawn Stevenson, rather than Gerald Green, in the package.

Similarly, Marc J. Spears tweets, “Nets still trying to get trade done for Hawks guard Joe Johnson and hoping to get resolved by mid-week, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.”

Stein and Ford write that the two sides are trying to “tweak” the proposal to help the Nets’ financial flexibility. Still, the major sticking point remains the Nets’ reluctance to include Brooks in the deal. A New Jersey native, Brooks grew up in Atlanta.

According to the report, “One big stumbling block, sources said, is Atlanta’s insistence that Brooklyn include promising Nets guard MarShon Brooks in the trade to ensure that, in addition to shedding Johnson’s hefty contract, it gets back at least one on-the-rise player.” The most recent proposal would call for the Nets to send Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with the signed-and-traded Stevenson and a future first-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Johnson. The Nets are also unwilling to sign off on the deal till Deron Williams re-signs.

The two ESPN writers quoted a source as saying, “The Nets want Joe and they’re one of the few teams that can take on his contract.”

Just Joe

July 2nd, 2012
11:39 am

We need to remember how close Ferry and Billy King are. Ferry may feel comfortable taking a chance on Dwight because his friend Billy King has already laid out a sign-and-trade option for Dwight next summer (Lopez and G. Wallace???).

In other words, if the Hawks can’t get Dwight to sign an extension, then Nets step in with a sign and trade. This way the Hawks wind up with something (if that’s what they want).

northcyde

July 2nd, 2012
11:39 am

Getting back those scrubs is essentially the equivalent of nothing. That’s why people are bytching and moaning. No way should the Hawks come out of this without a draft pick or two + an asset we could use right now.

Ra'mon

July 2nd, 2012
11:40 am

Hoops, D12 is acting pretty crazy right now. But coaches will sign up to coach him in a second. Here’s a short list of HALL OF FAME players who got their coaches fired:

Michael Jordan
Magic Johnson
Jason Kidd
Shaquille O’Neal

Me

July 2nd, 2012
11:41 am

A lot of teams will be interested in a six time all-star with 4 years and 89 million. I am sure Hawks will get a deal done. Heard that Houston and Golden State has inquired about Joe Johnson.

KevinM

July 2nd, 2012
11:42 am

With all the D12 drama, does it make sense to deal with that for the next season? Perhaps, because it frees up a lot of money after this season.
So CNNSI states there is a chance we could get Dwight, does that conflict with the Joe deal? Since I’m not sure and I should be more confident what we are getting with D12, say we win and we get a #8 seed with Josh and D12, do we just accept the fact that they leave and we end up in the middle of next year’s draft as opposed to being in the lower draft lottery?
I have no interest in the rest of Orlando’s roster as well, so I’m indifferent on D12 coming to Atlanta. It seems like the circus will be visiting and Josh and D12 will be center stage all season.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2012
11:44 am

I want to know who are these “other teams” talking to the Hawks.

Ray

July 2nd, 2012
11:44 am

@ Northcyde

Rather have what you consider 5 scrubs then having 1 guy that you can’t even bring in quality FA players.

That’s what has been happening the past 2 years.

cory dillinger

July 2nd, 2012
11:45 am

For all the people who think we can just tank and get a superstar
Ðeron Williams
Chris Paul
Lebron James
Chris Bosh
Carmelo Anthony
Kevin Garnett
Ray Allen
Steve Nash
Pao Gasol
Kobe Bryant
Dwight Howard
All of those stars do not play for the teams that drafted so while you hope to strike gold in the lottery good luck trying to keep that star while you try and get good again and end up right back where you started after going another 8 yrs of not being in the plAyoffs

Ray

July 2nd, 2012
11:46 am

Plus is Brooks and Farmar are included I don’t exactly call them scrubs Farmar has turned into a good backup PG and Brooks is a rising SG right now just like ESPN was stating.

Plus we get a draft pick.

Don’t even know if Jordan Williams is good or bad never seen him play.

Mike

July 2nd, 2012
11:46 am

I can guess that easy
Brooklyn
Houston
Golden State
Orlando (or Josh, but Josh is number 1)
Lakers
and few others

Astro Joe

July 2nd, 2012
11:46 am

Sautee, the other thing I was suggesting earlier is that having a lottery pick AND cap space next summer would be great assets to rebuild. Why exhaust the cap space that opens with getting rid of Joe & Marvin this summer (for non-franchise players) when you can save it to try and land a franchise player next summer? If they’re rebuilding, don’t do it with a toe in the playoff world, go big (or bad in this case) and opt for a lottery draft pick in addition to cap space. Since we’ll be buying hope for the entire season, a non-playoff draft pick allows us to hope that we land a top 3 pick with a lucky roll of the ping-pong ball. I’m sure someone on the board could already tell you the 3-5 draft saviors who may be available next summer.

THE IMMORTAL...I MUS WRITE

July 2nd, 2012
11:48 am

I’ll give Ferry credit for being active instead of reactive, thats a change to the culture already. A one year rental of D12 does nothing for me, I would have to have a gaurantee on a long term deal. We all know how dwight has been waffling back and forth so…….

Horford is grossly overrated IMO…Ivan the terrible gave us close to the same production while ol softee was on the mend.

Sessions would be a better option behind Teague than Johnny Flynn the undersized chucker.

See what it would take to keep Josh and get it done, if he genuinely wants to leave -we should be exploring trades for him ASAP as he be harder to replace than Joe Cool aka David Blaine.

Josh for Paul George/Psycho T

I really Like Royce White -I think he is going to be a top 10 SF/PF in the next couple years.
Boston will be loaded next yr. with the additions of Jeff green, Sullinger,Melo Jermaine Oneal, Avery B and possibly Ray Allen……The C’s are gearing up for one last run.

Will the Lakers take Josh/Marvin/2nd for Bynum…..if so get’er dun…

Me

July 2nd, 2012
11:53 am

Basic truth; Joe Johnson’s contract, despite his all-star status, is a clear hindrance in the path of improvement. Shed the contract and get cap space. You would have enough role players to continue to make trades. Free agency doesn’t stop at one trade.

[...] Hawks: According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, GM Danny Ferry is focused on “salary cap flexibility.” As you know, Joe Johnson will be hogging a large portion of the Hawks’ cash—about $80 [...]

Astro Joe

July 2nd, 2012
11:58 am

Nets won’t be left at the altar again.

A league source said the Nets are determined “not to wait around” for a Howard deal to materialize, as they did in December and at the March trade deadline. CBSSports.com

Just Joe

July 2nd, 2012
12:01 pm

Follow up trades:

Farmar and Marvin for Devin Harris and Raja Bell.

Morrow and 1st rd pick for Derrick Williams.

Jordan Williams to Bobcats for cash considerations and/or a 2nd rd pick.

UGA

July 2nd, 2012
12:05 pm

I have no inside info…..but the TWolves could be interested in Joe, they have young assets like Williams and Johnson and expiring deals like Darko, Miller and Webster

MsDee

July 2nd, 2012
12:05 pm

If Joe gets traded, I wont necessarily be eager to let Marvin go anymore cause this SHOULD give him the necessary room to shine and demand the ball more with Joe gone.

The Real cp

July 2nd, 2012
12:05 pm

If the Hawks would rather have Stevenson than Green then football season cant get here quick enough. Stevenson is terrible. Dude shot like 28% last year. I dont want him on this team. Im all for getting rid of Joe’s contract but I dont want that trash. If Green or Brooks is not included in the deal then just say no…

And Jordan Williams is very solid. He would be a better player coming off the bench than Twin or Damp.

welikebaseball2

July 2nd, 2012
12:07 pm

#1) This trade isn’t about “tanking” to get a superstar. This trade is about allowing ourselves the possibility of building an actual title contender sooner than 4 years from now (when Joe’s contract expires). You need, as the Finals showed, AT LEAST one bonafide superstar to truly contend. As long as the non-superstar-Joe & his superstar contract is on the books, we can’t afford a legit superstar & won’t be able to do so for the next four years. Shedding his contract at least gives up hope of drafting/signing a superstar much sooner than 4 years from now. #2) Folks, we’re not getting Howard. Let it go. He’s already said there’s only one team he’ll accept a trade to…& it’s not the Hawks. It’s not happening…under any scenario. Please let it go.

Just Joe

July 2nd, 2012
12:10 pm

I think Hawks want Stevenson over Green because of the length of contract expected by each. Stevenson probably knows he’s only getting a one year deal. Green is probably hoping for three years.

Me

July 2nd, 2012
12:12 pm

At this point, Atlanta only have about 9 million dollars in cap space. 61 million dollars tied up in 6 players. If it is Stevenson, Green, Humphries or the ball boy included in the deal, Atlanta needs to make a deal.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2012
12:16 pm

So is the plan to sell JJ off for dog poo, then turn around and sign Smith to a max contract for 5 years? Or does a complete blow up happen?

northcyde

July 2nd, 2012
12:19 pm

Ray

July 2nd, 2012
11:44 am

@ Northcyde

Rather have what you consider 5 scrubs then having 1 guy that you can’t even bring in quality FA players.

That’s what has been happening the past 2 years.

******************

Wrong Ray.

The Hawks haven’t used their mid level exception or their bi-annual exception since re-signing Zaza. It would’ve put the Hawks over the Luxury Tax, but they could’ve used their mid level exception on a player last year. If they wanted to keep Jamal bad enough, they could’ve used it on him.

What will happen now, is that you’ll have that cap space to get those extra players. But just because you have 3 bodies worth 20 million instead of 1 body at 20 million, doesn’t mean that the product will improve on the court. Two of those 3 bodies better be viable players

bigdave

July 2nd, 2012
12:19 pm

Where are y’all reading this about us inquiring about Dwight?

Hoops

July 2nd, 2012
12:19 pm

The way I’ve got this figured is:

1. The Hawks/Nets make this trade – Joe Johnson for Farmer(4.2M), Morrow(4.0M), Williams(.8M), Petro(3.5M), and Stevenson(1.1M), plus a 1st round pick.

2. The Hawks keep Josh for another year.

3. That gives the Hawks around 51M in salary. That will probably be 9-10M under the cap. Now, they have money to go after a trade for a starting SF.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2012
12:22 pm

Could’ve brought in Reggie Evans at a vet minimum price, but they coveted Vladimir Radmanovic.

Could’ve had Jordan Crawford and possibly Kenneth Faried ( if they drafted him ), but traded those two pieces for Kirk Hinrich.

Hawks put themselves in this hole themselves.

Astro Joe

July 2nd, 2012
12:22 pm

People, you can’t have it both ways (or so it seems). The good news is that we’re shedding Joe’s contract and we now have hope that with the needed cap flexibility we will be able to get quality players who can get us further in the playoffs. Obviously, we’re not getting those quality players from the Nets in the current proposed trade (that excludes Brooks). After Joe is traded (and Marvin goes via amnesty), I think we’ll be around $10M under the cap. Is there a free agent out there this summer who can make a huge impact for $10M? Some nice players but probably none that would make a huge impact at that price. So sign a few guys to a 1 year deal and go for the gold next summer. Ferry is attempting to acquire a draft pick from the Nets, he is trading known production for guys with expiring deals who barely played for a wretched Nets team and he will likely jettison Marvin. It all looks, sounds and smells like rebuilding. Embrace it (I have). Don’t try and convince yourself that Farmar becomes Russell Westbrook, Jordan Williams becomes Blake Griffin and Anthony Morrow turns into Ray Allen. Hold your nose and take the medicine of being awful for a single season in hope that all is so much better a year from now. It’s like an extended stay with your in-laws… as long as you have reason to believe that it won’t last forever, you can deal with it.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2012
12:24 pm

Testing

strike

strike

Me

July 2nd, 2012
12:24 pm

Marvin Williams will be traded before the season starts, probably package in a deal with a player we receive from Johnson/Nets deal. Hopefully anyway.

Sautee

July 2nd, 2012
12:27 pm

“If your best case forecast is closer to the 8th seed, what’s the point (especialliy if you’re in rebuild mode)? ” – Astro Joe

But AJ, how can you “forecast” an 8th seed without knowing what other moves Ferry might make?

I’m waiting until I see where the chips fall before passing judgement.