With Deron Williams gone, league sources tell NetsDaily that the Nets expect Joe Johnson to have a "tremendous season" for them next year, indicating Brooklyn has no desire to trade the 34-year-old swingman who finally is an expiring contract.
Marc Stein reported the same information.
ESPN sources say Nets are now indeed 'intent" on keeping Joe Johnson. Finding a way to move D-Will, sources say, was their "preferred route"— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 10, 2015
And now that Nets found their preferred route they don't need to shop Johnson, who was far more tradeable than D-Will. Also don't forget ...— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 10, 2015
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Don't forget that, with no lottery pick to play for in 2016, it behooves them competitively to keep Joe J if D-Will buyout solves tax issues</p>— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine/status/619656360842493953">July 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
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One league source implied that few Nets will be happier about the team's decision to buy out Williams than Johnson. There was never any public friction between the two, but Johnson, along with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, were not big fans.
The Nets had had preliminary discussions with both Memphis and Cleveland, with the Grizzlies talks more significant. But league sources said the Nets were never that aggressive in marketing Johnson, who they hoped could bring veteran leadership to a team that has nine players under 25 on the roster.
As Ian Eagle told WFAN last month...
"Joe is the more tradeable commodity, but they look at their team, there's a role for Joe Johnson on this team. As they look at their team in regards to Deron Williams, I'm not convinced that moving forward that Deron can be a part of this."
Johnson will make $24.9 million next season, the last on his $122 million, six-year deal.