Joe Johnson famously said "it's not that bad here," at Media Day this season referring to being a member of the Brooklyn Nets -- in the post Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett era, no less. Well, now Johnson, who is in the final year of his contract with the Nets, is in the midst of negotiating a buyout with the team, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
Joe Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets have opened buyout negotiations, ESPN has learned— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2016
Sources tell ESPN several playoff teams (Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, OKC and Toronto) are already in pursuit of Joe Johnson— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2016
That's a lot of teams interested in Joe Jesus, and mostly all teams looking to make a deep run into the playoffs. The 6'8" swingman has played in eight straight playoffs and his numbers are often higher in the post-season.
Johnson, however, it was reported, was looking to re-up with the Nets beyond this season. That seemed not so likely, unless, of course, he was willing to take a major, major pay cut next season.
Still, it's a bit curious why we've reached the point where the Nets are going to buy out Johnson without getting anything back in return -- though, with his salary, the only thing the Nets likely would have gotten back is another bad contract.
Sean Marks spoke with WFAN about the situation, and he said that he's willing to speak to Joe about what he wants to do.
Sean Marks on Joe Johnson: "We’ll be talking to Joe and seeing what he really wants to do."— devin kharpertian (@uuords) February 25, 2016
More Sean Marks on Johnson: "I think he’s deserved the right to (play on a playoff team if that’s what he wants)."— devin kharpertian (@uuords) February 25, 2016
#Nets GM Sean Marks said in interview with WFAN Joe Johnson deserves right to pursue playoffs with another team if he wants opportunity.— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) February 25, 2016
But, that's where we're at, in the new Sean Marks era, and it may not be so bad here if the Nets can use the additional roster spot to look at players, as well as use the minutes Johnson would get and give it to someone they can possibly use as part of their future. With Andrea Bargnani also bought out, the Nets now have to spots to explore.
The team would gain some cap flexibility as well. They would no longer be perilously close to the luxury tax threshold if they chose to sign anyone. It would make it easier for the team to use the $3.15 million disabled player exception they acquired after Jarrett Jack went down ... IF they wanted to fill a roster spot with a player who wanted more than the vets minimum. And it would remove Johnson's significant cap hold this summer.
Moreover, as Ric Bucher said on SiriusXM Thursday morning. The upside for Nets is "goodwill" around the league, as other players/agents see that the Nets "do the right thing" for their guys It engenders positive feelings toward the Nets, possibly helping them more attractive to prospective free agents.
That's not bad, right?
"You know what? It kinda is that bad here." https://t.co/YIW1pGEkME— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 25, 2016
Yeah, maybe you're right.
- Source say Brooklyn Nets and Joe Johnson talking buyout - Marc Stein - ESPN
- Report: Joe Johnson, Nets open buyout negotiations – Dan Feldman - NBC Sports
- Plenty of options for Joe Johnson after potential Nets buyout - James Herbert - CBS Sports
- Atlanta Hawks interested in signing Joe Johnson - Chris Vivlamore - Atlanta Journal-Constitution