Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson has regressed tremendously, but he seems very reluctant to accept a contract buyout from the rebuilding Brooklyn Nets, according to NBC Sports.
With a 10-28 record, the Brooklyn Nets decided to relieve head coach Lionel Hollins and general manager Billy King of their duties on Sunday night. Major changes are coming fast.
One of those changes that Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants to see is the departure of Joe Johnson, who at one point in time was the franchise player for this team.
Joe Johnson is easily the highest paid player on the Brooklyn Nets roster. His gigantic $24.8 salary far exceeds the $19.6 million that the team is paying starting center Brook Lopez.
It would be a tremendous boost to the Brooklyn Nets’ rebuilding plans if they could dump Joe Johnson and that $24.8 million salary. That puts them several steps ahead of the game.
The hard part for Mikhail Prokhorov and the Brooklyn Nets is the fact that Joe Johnson really does not have a lot of incentive to give up that huge sum of money at this point in time.
Even at the age of 35, Joe Johnson still has a chance to cash in on another contract when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season. Of course, the salary will be much smaller.
Since retirement is not that far away, it would behoove Joe Johnson to capitalize as much as he can on his aging body. Johnson is going to want every penny that he can get until then.
Another obstacle standing in the way of the Brooklyn Nets is the fact that every few teams in the NBA are going to want to part with that many assets to get the salaries to match up.
The Los Angeles Lakers can always package Nick Young and Roy Hibbert together in a deal for Joe Johnson, as that would enable them to get rid of Young and his remaining contract.
Roy Hibbert isn’t needed by the Brooklyn Nets because of Brook Lopez, but his $15.5 million contract is a bit easier to trade than the $24.8 made by Joe Johnson in his final season.
Streak shooter Nick Young isn’t exactly appealing to many NBA teams, but picking him up would be the cost for the Brooklyn Nets to shed Joe Johnson and that $24.8 million salary.
The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t competing for an NBA Playoffs spot this season, so Joe Johnson’s value would be veteran leadership for D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.
One way or another, the Brooklyn Nets are going to get rid of Joe Johnson. They will either trade him next month, or they can wait until the season ends and his contract expires.
Once his contract expires, Joe Johnson and his agent are going to seek a new home in the NBA, preferably a contender that could use some scoring and versatility off of their bench.
If Joe Johnson is serious about winning an NBA Championship before he retires and is willing to sacrifice some money, then the San Antonio Spurs could be a potential landing spot.
Tim Duncan may not necessarily retire just yet, and Greg Popovich has shown an amazing ability to get superstar players to buy in. LaMarcus Aldridge has transitioned pretty well.
Another option would be the Los Angeles Clippers, who have been disappointed with veteran acquisitions Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith. They haven’t added much to the bench.
Then again, Joe Johnson could easily change his mind about the money and latch on with a contending team this year because he knows that his body only has so much left in the tank.
[Featured Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]