Last month, Joe Johnson reportedly had no interest in seeking a buyout from the Brooklyn Nets, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. And why would he when he’s making nearly $25 million to play in Brooklyn this season?
But at Nets practice on Tuesday, Johnson said he didn’t know for sure if that’s what he still wants. From Andy Vasquez of The Record:
Joe Johnson said he won’t ask for a trade. Is he open to a buyout? “Honestly, I don’t even know.” Plans to talk with agent in the next week.
— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) February 2, 2016
Johnson, 34, will be a free agent this summer. And while he didn’t rule out the possibility of a return to Brooklyn next season, he’s said along that playing for a winner is his top priority in free agency, per Vasquez.
Last time we checked, the Nets aren’t a winner. They have the third-worst record in the NBA, an interim head coach and no general manager. Johnson is better off looking elsewhere in free agency. But it’s not too late for him to play for a winner this season.
If the Nets negotiate a buyout with Johnson, he’ll have until March 1st to sign with another team and become eligible for a playoff roster. Brooklyn, meanwhile, will get satisfaction in knowing Johnson’s ridiculous contract is finally off the books. It works both ways.
One thing is for sure, though. Johnson isn’t asking for a trade. He said so himself, and it would be difficult for the Nets to find a trade partner anyhow.