Just when you thought the Brooklyn Nets weren’t going to be able to get rid of Joe Johnson and his awful contract, come the Memphis Grizzlies in what might turn out to be a pretty big and surprising trade.
Marc Stein, during the busiest time of his year, is suggesting there have been talks between the two teams regarding Johnson, who has one more year left on his deal worth $24.89 million. Now that it’s a final year, it might be a bit more feasible to move him, although that still is one massive cap hit to take.
The Grizzlies have about $17 million in cap space. They’ll be re-signing Marc Gasol if nothing surprising happens, which eats up all of their cap space. Who do they move to help out the Nets, who might also follow that up by trading Brook Lopez and officially begin their tanking season, which might last for more than one season.
The prime candidates are Jeff Green (owed $9.44 million next season) and Vince Carter, a former Nets player, who is owed $8.2 million over the next two seasons. That might not be enough to complete the deal, and we could see a third party enter these discussions to make the deal possible.
Johnson averaged 14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season. He’ll be entering his 15th NBA season and despite being 34, has been relatively injury free these last few years. With the Grizzlies constantly looking for someone to upgrade their shooting and give them an extra something beyond their already known quantities, maybe Johnson will provide the unexpected solution. Trading for Green last season didn’t seem to have the desired effect.