Brooklyn Nets veteran swingman Joe Johnson is still very much in play for the defending Eastern Conference champions, league sources informed cleveland.com.
Should Johnson, 34, obtain a buyout of his $25 million salary for the season, Cleveland would be his next destination, sources with knowledge of the dialogue insist to cleveland.com.
Brooklyn is aware of the ballpark figure it would take for Johnson to agree to a buyout, a source said. The way sources characterize the situation, Brooklyn has to decide whether they want to help the Cavaliers, or allow Johnson to play out his contract as is. Johnson, I'm told, isn't overly concerned about whether a buyout is negotiated. His primary focus is just playing. A player who is bought out has to be signed with his new team by March 1 to be playoff eligible. Cleveland considered trading for Johnson last summer.
Marc Stein: All indications for weeks have pointed to Joe Johnson not wanting a buyout. We'll see if that changes post-deadline (CC: @Russ Bengston)
However, according to a source familiar with the Cavs' thinking, Cleveland's belief is Johnson does not want to leave Brooklyn and will seek to stick with the franchise on a multiyear extension as it undergoes its rebuild.
CLE CAVS Hunter: How mindful do you think the Cavs are being, when discussing a deal, ab possibility of Joe Johnson buyout? - Steve Kyler: Believe it or not - Joe's camp is saying he's not taking a buyout. We'll see if it changes after 3pm EST tomorrow.
As a scoring, over-used veteran on an underwhelming team and a big expiring contract, 34-year-old, seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson is a prime candidate for a potential buyout, one of the few potential impact players that has a chance of switching teams without a trade. He’s a notable enough candidate that he can’t avoid the rumors. “It’s kinda hard (not to listen to it),” Johnson said Wednesday night about a potential buyout or trade. “It is what it is, man. It comes with the territory. Obviously me being an older player, I’ve seen it all, so nothing surprises me.”
Marc Stein: Perhaps that position changes once the deadline passes if Joe Johnson, as expected, remains in Brooklyn. But still no push for a buyout yet.
One source close to Johnson recently told Basketball Insiders that the 34-year-old marksman is “as miserable as he has ever been” and would welcome a change of scenery.
Andy Vasquez: Joe Johnson admits it's tough with Nets, but says he won't request a trade. Leaves open buyout possibility, though: http://wp.me/p23cP0-Ex - Ethan J. Skolnick: Tax concerns aside, I'm told this would pique Heat's interest
Keep an eye on buyout talks with Joe Johnson in late February. With Brooklyn out of the playoff mix, talks could rekindle. If bought out, Johnson will have a list of championship-level teams vying for his services.
Sources close to the process say that there isn’t a lot of urgency to make a deal before the deadline. Instead, the priority is to get new leadership in place and let the future of the team take shape that way. That’s not to say the Nets wouldn’t do a deal, they’re just not overly active in looking for one. The real question is will Johnson opt to leave some of his guaranteed cash on the table if he is not moved in order to gain his release via a buyout. Today, his side says absolutely not. However, there is a sense that once the deadline passes, that stance could change.
Marc Stein: All indications are the Nets' Joe Johnson, contrary to recent suggestions, presently has no interest in seeking a buyout in Brooklyn. So ...
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.
March 20, 2023 | 11:02 am EDT Update
Both Lakers and Austin Reaves interested in re-signing
Austin Reaves’ surge is setting him up for a fascinating offseason. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and will undoubtedly have multiple suitors looking to pry him from the Lakers — especially after stat lines like Sunday’s. Both the Lakers and Reaves’ camp have interest in Reaves re-signing in Los Angeles, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity so that they coud speak freely. The max the Lakers can offer Reaves is a four-year, $50.8 million contract if they chose to use his Early Bird Rights, but they also have the power to match any contract he signs with another team.
The coming weeks will ultimately determine how the situation plays out. The Lakers have 10 regular-season games remaining, and possibly some postseason games as well. In the meantime, Reaves is thriving as his role expands and his confidence grows down the stretch of this season. “It’s special,” Reaves said of playing for the Lakers. “I mean, I grew up a Lakers fan. To do it for this organization, especially, is surreal. Sometimes I gotta stop and really think about what I am doing. … All I’m really happy about is the win.”
NBA Communications: Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers can become the third team from the Eastern Conference to clinch a spot in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The 76ers host the Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. ET on the NBA App. Clinch scenario ⬇️
March 20, 2023 | 7:00 am EDT Update
Lakers working out Tristan Thompson, Tony Bradley
Shams Charania: The Los Angeles Lakers are working out free agent centers Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley this week, sources tell me and @jovanbuha . Thompson, an 11-year NBA veteran, was a key member of the 2016 championship Cavaliers team alongside LeBron James.
Ryan Ward: Austin Reaves on MVP chants: “Obviously, that’s never sustainable. But for them to recognize what I do, obviously, not an MVP-caliber player, guys that are really good. But for them to do that, for me is special. It means a lot to me. So, you know, shout out Lakers Nation.”
Jovan Buha: Anthony Davis said he and LeBron joke about Austin Reaves’ ability to get foul calls and draw free throws. “Man, we wish we could get some of those,” Davis said.