Three years after he was bought out by the Nets in one of Sean Marks first moves as GM, Joe Johnson will return to HSS Training Center next week for a workout, according to ESPN.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports Johnson will work out for Brooklyn as well as Detroit and Milwaukee, all three of whom were playoff teams last season.
McMenamin adds that Johnson’s heroics in the BIG3 League apparently was a factor, as “Johnson, 38, hit the game-winning shot for the Triplets in Sunday’s BIG3 championship game and is a career 16.0 points per game scorer in 17 seasons in the NBA.”
He played for Brooklyn from 2012-16, earning one of his seven career All-Star appearances. He was, at the time, one of the NBA’s highest paid players. With the Nets, he was the team’s go-to guy in end-of-the-game situations, repeatedly hitting game winners. In fact, during his time with the Nets, he was the league’s top clutch shooter, as John Schuhmann tweeted the day he was waived.
Joe Johnson has made some big shots in the last 5 years... pic.twitter.com/vdog2vLuAx— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) February 25, 2016
Johnson gave up $3 million of the $20+ million remaining on his contract in February 2016, a week after Marks took over the GM job. The parting was amicable with both sides issuing positive statements.
The 7-time all-star is also receiving interest from Philadelphia, New Orleans, Denver and the LA Clippers, according to ESPN. He has already worked out for the 76ers, McMenamin reported.
In his last NBA action, in 2017-18, Johnson averaged 6.0 points on 38.1% shooting in 23 games for the Houston Rockets. In the 2018 playoffs, he saw his playing time cut to just 6.8 minutes per game as the Rockets advanced to Game 7 of the Western Conference finals before falling to the Warriors.
In three and a half seasons with Brooklyn, Johnson played in 288 games, with averages of 14.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
Johnson was recently asked about his experience with the Nets ... and their new acquisitions...
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated recently quoted Johnson as saying he didn’t enter the BIG3 to get another chance at the NBA, but admitted he was not happy with the way his career ended.
“I am hopeful to get back, but I did not get in the BIG3 to get back to the league,” Johnson told Spears. “I had a great career. I enjoyed the process. The only thing that keeps the NBA fire in the belly is how it ended in Houston. That just does not sit well with me. So if an opportunity comes along and I feel that it is worth it, yeah, I take that chance.”
Johnson has always had a reputation for working hard to stay in shape and his time in the BIG3 bore that out.
Although the Nets have no roster spots currently available, Wilson Chandler’s situation with the team appears tenuous. Chandler was suspended by the NBA last week for 25 games after a random test revealed he had used a prohibited human growth hormone. The Nets have not commented on the suspension.
- Sources — 3 teams to work out BIG3 MVP Johnson - Dave McMenamin, ESPN
- Joe Johnson could get second chance with Nets - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Brooklyn reportedly to work out former Net Joe Johnson - Garrett Stepien - SNY