Instead of continuing their pursuit of Orlando center Dwight Howard, the Nets shifted their focus to upgrading their back court.
Atlanta acquired the expiring contracts of Antony Morrow, Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar and Jordan Williams while also landing DeShawn Stevenson along with the rights to Houston’s first round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Following their trade of Johnson, the Hawks, tired of finishing just outside of contention in the Eastern Conference, immediately made another deal, sending small forward Marvin Williams to Utah in exchange for Devin Harris.
Harris was one of the main components the Nets sent to the Jazz in exchange for point guard Deron Williams, a player they are hoping to convince to remain with the organization this summer by signing him to a long term contract.
Neither trade will become official until July 11, after the NBA’s annual moratorium is lifted.
The Nets had only five players under contract, including three draft selections from last week, but the addition of Johnson gives the team a tangible piece, along with the resigning of forward Gerald Wallace, prove to Williams the organization is committed to winning.
Johnson provides a consistent scoring threat for Brooklyn and despite his reputation of being a player that thrives off isolations, has thrived while playing with an elite point guard.
During his final season in Phoenix, Johnson connected on a career-high 177 attempts from 3-point range and shot 47.8 percent while paired in the back court with Steve Nash.
For his career, Johnson is averaging 17.8 points, 4.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and one steal per game.
Aside from his offensive prowess, Johnson offers little else on the court.
Over the past three seasons, Johnson has posted just six double-doubles and failed to accomplish the feat at all last season.
During the 2005-06 season, Johnson averaged a career-high 6.5 assists per game as he logged 13 double-doubles and one triple-double.
While Johnson has built a reputation as a pure jump shooter, the only time in his career he shot better than 47.8 percent from 3-point range.
During much of his seven-year tenure in Atlanta, Johnson served as the primary ball handler and was responsible for setting up the offensive attack.
Brooklyn is hoping his presence can bolster their offense, as they haven’t finished higher than 20th in points per game since the 2006-07 season.
In an effort to convince Williams to remain in Brooklyn and spurn his hometown of Dallas, the Nets brought in Johnson to relive the offensive burden that fell squarely on his shoulders last season.
Williams hoisted 6.2 attempts from 3-point range per game last season, while leading the team in points, assists and steals.
Five times in his career, Johnson has averaged over 20 points per game and during the summer of 2010, he received the highest individual contract.
Even though LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and other prominent players made it the most prolific free agent class in league history, Johnson landed a six-year $119 million deal, the highest during that period.
Wallace remained with the team after signing a four-year $40 million contract.
If Williams signs for his maximum amount ($17.2 million), the Nets will have committed about $44 million to three players next season, virtually taking them out of the Howard sweepstakes and forcing the team to try and other players at a discount.
Reports have circulated about the Nets still pursuing Howard, even with the massive deals of Johnson and Wallace already under contract.
Brooklyn promised to revamp its organization as it moved into its new home and its hoping the addition of Johnson is just the first piece of its rebuilding process.