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

Just Joe

July 1st, 2012
2:45 pm

Mr. Ferry has his hands full. Good luck.

Slimjr

July 1st, 2012
2:50 pm

1st? Nice…

Reality Check

July 1st, 2012
2:52 pm

“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.”

Just like I said. Bye Josh. I hope the other three are right behind you.

Slimjr

July 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

Agreed, Danny has a full plate. I have confidence he will clean up BK and RS mess though…

Makes sense why he signed on for 6 years?

The Real Hawk

July 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

Keep J-Smooth, move JJ. NOW!

Buddy Grizzard

July 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

BIG DOG, the salaries don’t have to match because Brooklyn only has $17m worth of players under contract. They COULD absorb Joe’s entire salary without sending any players to the Hawks. But the Hawks will be taking back some scrubs to get the deal done because Brooklyn will want to minimize how far into the luxury tax they go once Deron, Lopez, Wallace and maybe Hump’s salaries are added on top of Joe’s.

Slimjr

July 1st, 2012
2:54 pm

Don’t trade my baby Josh! I love him…

The Real Hawk

July 1st, 2012
2:56 pm

Anyone who thinks all three should go knows nothing about basketball or is not a Hawks fan.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
2:56 pm

@ Just Joe

Agreed and now that we know neither have talked this whole Josh Smith might be gone after next year crap needs to stop if Ferry can convince him that they’ll work hard to bring a championship home he just might be here for the long haul.

i_am_soulstar

July 1st, 2012
2:57 pm

I hope Ferry can convince Josh to resign. 5 years/ 60 mil sounds good to me.

But I can’t blame Josh for wanting to play in a better market. If it irks me as a fan to be in an arena where half the fans are cheering for the other team, I can only imagine how the players feel.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
2:58 pm

Still at least we’re actually in the news of something once free agency began most of the time we don’t hear squat.

This is the most news I’ve heard in forever about anything concerning the Atlanta hawks lol.

Slimjr

July 1st, 2012
2:58 pm

Dandy Dan= The man of a million handles..

Kodak moment x2 LOL

Astro Joe

July 1st, 2012
2:59 pm

The Atlanta market isn’t good enough for Josh?

I wouldn’t trade Teague (with Josh) to the Lakers, but I would definitely send Marvin. If they sent back a 1st round pick, I would probably give up Zaza.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:00 pm

@ I_am_soulstar

that’s ideal for a contract for Smith 60-70 range he’s not a superstar and I doubt Danny is dumb enough to pay 120 mil again to another play not named Durant or Lebron or even Kobe.

Just Joe

July 1st, 2012
3:00 pm

By the way, I think John Jenkins was the Heat’s guy in the draft. Riley was quoted as saying “the guys we wanted were already gone”. Now they are looking hard for a shooter.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:01 pm

According to Wojnarowski on his twitter page Lakers and Magic engaging in Trade talks involving Dwight Howard again.

i_am_soulstar

July 1st, 2012
3:02 pm

A championship would be great, but the first step is restoring respect to the Atlanta basketball culture.

Astro Joe

July 1st, 2012
3:02 pm

The three moves to change the culture is to remove Joe, Josh and LD from the team. Hopefully that all happens in the next 12 months.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:03 pm

Agreed when the national media calls you out for being Nice Guys and barely gives you any respect you just don’t sit there and take it.

Now that ASG is basically taking a back seat and giving Ferry room I feel like we finally see the major changes we really want.

Just Joe

July 1st, 2012
3:04 pm

4yr $60M extension is basically giving Josh a 5% raise in each of he 4 years after this year. More than fair. Ferry just has to convince Josh.

Slimjr

July 1st, 2012
3:05 pm

Lets hope this so called “sharp shooter” Jenkins does not start wearing Marvin’s cloak…

The Real Hawk

July 1st, 2012
3:05 pm

So we have someone who wants to trade our best player (Josh) and our young starting guard. Who ARE these people?

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:06 pm

@ Astro Joe

Reading too much into stuff for the longest Josh was right the culture here is not of a winning culture it’s of a mediocre culture with being content with what we got.

From Falcons, Thrashers(no more), Braves, Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets you name it I agree with him. It doesn’t mean I or he hates the place just that we as fans and the ownership need to build a better picture then than the one we created.

Josh Smith

July 1st, 2012
3:06 pm

Man yall lame as hell here! I’m bout to hit the Magic City then po’ a cup of sizzurp! PLUTO!

Shamrock

July 1st, 2012
3:07 pm

The Real Hawk

July 1st, 2012
3:08 pm

When Hubie Brown holds his clinics the first thing he writes on the boards is:
Good players win championships.
Getting rid of our best player (Josh) does not do that.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:08 pm

What Atlanta really needs is players with fire in their belly’s that are hungry for championships not people who are content.

Josh is a player hungry for championships I believe Horford is too same for Zaza.

Slimjr

July 1st, 2012
3:08 pm

Al Horford so big and sexy mmmmmmmmmmmm ;)

Michael Cunningham

July 1st, 2012
3:08 pm

@Buddy: “They COULD absorb Joe’s entire salary without sending any players to the Hawks.”

not after signing Wallace. even if they don’t sign Wallace, they would have to for some insane reason renounce at least one of their top three free agents (D-Will, Wallace, Humphries) to clear space. unless, of course, one of those players signs elsewhere first.

Shamrock

July 1st, 2012
3:10 pm

IM with you on that Slimjr mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:10 pm

Marvin is a player we know ain’t hungry for nothing same for Joe Johnson I was just on another blog talking about the Nets and some of their fans were calling out Joe mimicking some of the things we’ve said.

Stuff like Overrated and disappears in the playoffs and what not.

Josh Smith

July 1st, 2012
3:13 pm

“Josh is a player hungry for championships”

Tell em shawty! Champion chips taste good as hell, almost better than salt and vinegar chips!

Dr. Warren

July 1st, 2012
3:18 pm

My comment seems to have been caught in the filter. Posting from China.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:20 pm

Looks like Willie Green has a new home up North with the T-wolves they’ve at least reached out to him according to Hoopshype.

Astro Joe

July 1st, 2012
3:24 pm

Josh had a BIG role in the team last year and the results were no better. Joe, Josh and LD all need to get gone if you are truly focused on winning it all. Josh would be a 3rd option on a contender and he won’t accept that role on this squad.

Sam

July 1st, 2012
3:24 pm

I’m not holding my breath on the Joe Johnson trade, but if it is at all possible, it needs to happen.

AtlantaCham

July 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

Why couldn’t we trade Joe to Brooklyn for Brooks Lopez and cap space? Then amnesty Marvin and have more cap space. Then use the cap space to sign Brandon Roy and maybe Louis Williams. A starting five of Lopez, Alford, Smith, Roy, and Teague has to be one of the stronger ones in the league. The bench might be a bit weak, though.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:31 pm

@ Astro Joe

I disagree with that and the only reason the results weren’t that much better we lost Horford for like 7/8 of the season.

Plus at the end Zaza got injured we don’t know what could have happened had Horford been healthy and Zaza played in the playoffs. We just don’t know.

One thing we did find out this year is that Josh is still improving and more than capable of being a #1 option on the team. Or even #2.

Buddy Grizzard

July 1st, 2012
3:40 pm

True MC, if they were taking Joe without sending out salaries, they wouldn’t be able to retain Deron, Lopez, Wallace and Hump. But we all know they’re not taking Joe without sending some salary back.

Astro Joe

July 1st, 2012
3:41 pm

Ray, the only reason Josh had the high usage and had the best season was because Horford was injured. You can’t spend weeks watching Josh “lead this team” or be the “MVP of the team” and then suggest that Josh is an innocent bystander in the culture of the team. That’s being an obsessed fanatic who is unwilling to recognize the obvious. No way the culture isn’t heavily influenced by that guy. If the culture isn’t right, then Joe and Josh are to blame (along with the head coach). I only exlcude Horford because he wasn’t around the team as much last season.

Buddy Grizzard

July 1st, 2012
3:42 pm

“Why couldn’t we trade Joe to Brooklyn for Brooks Lopez and cap space?”

Who is Brooklyn going to play at center? Gerald Wallace? Joe and Deron with no Lopez at center is a lottery team. They’re not sending us Lopez.

jhan

July 1st, 2012
3:44 pm

Ray – Josh could certainly be a #1 option on a team – just not a very good team!

Sam

July 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

Marvin to the Jazz for Devon Harris would work out well for both teams. They don’t need another point and have no real small forward on the team. We could use Harris to start, play alongside, or backup Teague. It even works on the ESPN trade machine.

AtlantaCham

July 1st, 2012
3:47 pm

If the Nets sent us Lopez (they have to give up something to get Joe Johnson), they could just sign Kaman or Hawes, or whoever for a year waiting on Howard to become an unrestricted free agent. Then they would have the team they are building for. Why would we even think about trading Joe to the Nets if it doesn’t get us Lopez?

i_am_soulstar

July 1st, 2012
3:48 pm

Josh is only 26, and improving every year. If I can sign him for almost all-star money (5yrs/60-70) now while he continues to blossom, I’m doing it.

Ray

July 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

How do you exclude Horford Astro Joe he’s been here 5 years now it doesn’t make sense.

Out of 6 guys left Teague and Zaza are excluded from any blame I know and you all know that Zaza wants to win too plus he got Heart. Teague really only started this year so judgement is reserved till after next year.

So that leaves Horford, Josh, Joe, and Marvin. Josh isn’t an innocent bystander, but he doesn’t come off as a guy that likes the culture of this team especially after talking about how he’d rather play for Boston and such.

I don’t think Horford likes it either especially coming out of a winning program at Florida.

The reason I’m more suspect of Marvin and Joe for Joe it’s the way he talks in postgame interviews, and Marvin because he’s just there he rubs off to me as someone who’s just happy he plays in the NBA knowing good and well he doesn’t deserve it.

MattP

July 1st, 2012
3:55 pm

People get it through your head, Josh does not want to come back to Atlanta. Hawks need to get something for him before he walks.

ryan

July 1st, 2012
4:07 pm

I am glad someone we hired has woke up this is long over do .

BIG DOG

July 1st, 2012
4:07 pm

Buddy Grizzard – Hawks will not trade Joe unless Lopez is invovle.

Saleries not match un less sign and tradewith Lopez, Nets would have send Cash for Joe with Farmer, Morrow, Petro.

Why would the Nets send Hawks 10mill cash ?

No Team is that dum.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Rod

July 1st, 2012
4:08 pm

Darn Wallace resigned with the Nets looks like New Jersey is running out of $ move JJ someway somehow please Danny please!