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 12, 2016 | 11:01 pm EST Update
I asked Cousins on Friday how much say a star player should have in such decisions; it’s well documented that Cousins and Karl have clashed regularly and still haven’t gotten on the same page. Cousins blew off the question, but then said something telling about his predicament. “I prefer to be in a perfect situation,” DeMarcus Cousins said, “but that’ll never happen.” “What does a perfect situation look like to you?” I asked. “Everybody’s happy,” DeMarcus Cousins said. “But that’ll never happen.” “Why?” “There’s nothing in life that’s perfect,” DeMarcus Cousins said.
Cousins? Utterly dominant. Cousins’ team? Utterly dysfunctional. “Helping us stay grounded through, I guess you could say, the chaos,” Cousins said, when asked to describe his role in finding a way out. “But the biggest thing would be staying positive.”