After two big spending summers and having the league’s highest payroll, the Brooklyn Nets have failed to meet the high expectations set by owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The Nets are now looking to shed some of the massive contracts owed to a several of their big name stars.
The acquisitions of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson inflated the Nets payroll and the luxury tax became a major financial burden. The team was upset in the first round by a Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls. That following offseason, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were acquired in a trade with the Boston Celtics. Nevertheless, the Nets were still eliminated by the Miami Heat in the second round. Now Brooklyn ownership and the front office is looking to change their approach and become more conscience of the long term, rather than the win-now mantra employed in the last two seasons.
According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, the Detroit Pistons have made an inquiry regarding Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson:
Hearing Detroit has reached out to Nets to inquire about Joe Johnson according to league sources.
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) February 17, 2015
Johnson is owed nearly 25 million in 2016, and becomes a free agent in the subsequent summer. The 33 year old guard would surely give the Detroit backcourt a major offensive boost after losing Brandon Jennings to season ending surgery.
After the Josh Smith trade, the Pistons went on a tear, with major contributions from Jennings. But after losing the diminutive point guard, their form has obviously dipped. Yet, at 21-33, the Pistons are not far behind the Miami heat for the eight seed in the Eastern Conference. The acquisition of Johnson could reignite the Pistons attack and spark a run to the playoffs. The Pistons will need to find suitable terms for a trade and take on Johnson’s expensive contract for a year; but the rewards could prove to outweigh the risk for Stan Van Gundy’s team.[divide]