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When the time comes, Joe Johnson will choose winning over money

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Come July 1, Joe Johnson will become a free agent, his $120 million contract finally at an end.  It will not, however, be the end of Johnson's career.  He plans to continue playing and has already decided what his priority will be , he tells Andy Vasquez.

"Winning. Winning is going to be important to me," Johnson told The Record when asked about his impending free agency. "I’ve made enough money, man, throughout my career. So, yeah, winning will definitely be top priority for me."

The seven time All-Star has never won a championship but he has an eight-year long streak of making the playoffs, which at this point looks like it will end, unless he's traded to a contender.

Johnson has played well as of late, contributing in both the loss to Cleveland and the win over Detroit, but he's still no the player he was, even last year.  For the season, he's averaging 11.3 points and shooting 27.1 percent from three.  He is contributing in other ways, averaging nearly five rebounds and four assists. He does have a lot of mileage, having played the second highest number of minutes in the NBA over the past dozen years, behind only LeBron James.  James remains a big fan.

"Joe can play," James told Vasquez. "He can flat-out play and he’s hit plenty of game-winners and big shots in his career and he can still do that as well, so he was definitely on our scouting report, for sure."

Would the Nets be interested in keeping Johnson at a discount rate next season?  Vasquez doesn't address that, but they hold his Bird Rights and can pay him whatever the market will bear come next summer.