Where will Joe Johnson be playing in 2016-17? Stein: Not. Brooklyn. That’s about as definitive as we can get this far away from free agency. But the more interesting question might be: Will Johnson finish this season in Brooklyn? There are some folks around the league who wonder if the Nets would consent to buying out Johnson after the Feb. 18 trade deadline if they can’t move him. The Nets would naturally dismiss any such suggestions, given that they have no other choice but to try to win as many games as they can before sending their unprotected 2016 top pick to Boston. But they also frequently insisted that they wouldn’t buy out Deron Williams before ultimately doing so.
February 13, 2016 | 6:34 pm EST Update
The Boston Celtics are widely believed to be a potential fit as a Horford trade partner, but the real level of interest from general manager Danny Ainge remains to be seen in the coming days. And while Horford continues to speak positively about the city and his situation, there’s an inherent uncertainty to this process that always acts as the driving force. “I’m very happy in Atlanta,” Horford said when asked if the Hawks had reason to be concerned that he might leave. “I’ve said it repeatedly. I love the city. My family, we all live in Atlanta, we stay there in the offseason, so my focus is just to keep playing and taking it day by day and, right now, it’s to enjoy this weekend. … Just taking it day by day. That’s the only thing I can do. We really can’t worry about three or four months from now.”
The game’s MVP, Zach LaVine, had just celebrated his first birthday when Bryant was drafted in the 1996 draft. Devin Booker, who scored 23 points in the defense-less game, wasn’t born. In fact, none of the players were more than five years old when he was drafted. Their first memories of him came when they were just beginning elementary school. “(My) earliest memory of Kobe Bryant, probably when he won the Dunk Contest when he was 18, 19, and then probably after that just him in the playoffs hitting those shots, like Portland and Indiana in the playoffs in early 2000,” said LaVine. “So that probably is the earliest ones. I was really young, like six, five.”