clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will Arn Tellem's move to front office mean anything for Nets?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Arn Tellem, the legendary NBA agent, will be moving into Detroit's front office in August, leaving his sports representation behind.  The University of Michigan law grad will serve as vice-chairman of the Pistons and although Stan VanGundy will still have ultimate say in basketball operations, it's inconceivable that Tellem's long time connections to the NBA's top stars won't be utilized.

Tellem, whose son, Matt, works for the Nets, reps three of Brooklyn's starters: Brook Lopez, now mulling whether to opt out of his $16.7 million deal for next year; Joe Johnson, who will be the NBA's second highest paid player at nearly $25 million next season; and Bojan Bogdanovic, whose rookie year showed great promise. In fact, it was Bogdanovic's switch to Wasserman Sports, Tellem's agency, that finally got him signed to a Nets deal.

So, beyond the general impact the move could have on the league, could the Nets be affected?  Bogdanovic isn't going anywhere, but could Lopez or Johnson wind up in Detroit City?

Lopez doesn't seem to be a good fit in Detroit. They have committed to Andre Drummond at the 5, and it's hard to imagine him and Lopez playing well together. One of their top off-season priorities is re-signing forward Greg Monroe, who opted to play out his qualifying offer and is now an unrestricted free agent. Why mess up that pairing?

What about Joe Johnson?  There were rumors at the trade deadline about VanGundy's interest in the Nets small forward, although Nets sources dismissed them.  Ohm Youngmisuk got things started.

Chris Mannix thought there was a rationale for the Pistons.

Stu Jackson tweeted that under the terms of the rumored deal, Johnson would have been extended, no doubt a prioity of his agent.

But nothing came of it.  One possible reason? The Pistons were able to get Reggie Jackson from OKC at the last minute, after the Thunder called off their proposed deal for Lopez.

Could it happen again?  Could Tellem's arrival make it happen?  It seems like a long shot.  The Pistons would like to bring back Monroe AND Jackson which would push their payroll a lot higher, making Johnson an even greater luxury.  And while the Pistons have at least three contracts they'd like to dump, Brandon Jennings, Jodie Meeks and Caron Butler, whose $4 million expiring is non-guaranteed, wouldn't they want a lower paid player or players rather than Johnson, who has declined.

We won't dismiss anything, not this year, as teams prepare for the avalanche of TV rights money a year from now. And Detroit wants the playoffs next season and Johnson hasn't missed the playoffs in seven years. But hoping that Tellem's career move could result in the Nets dumping Johnson seems a bit of a stretch.