Could Joe Johnson Be On The Move?


Like Yogi Berra used to say, “It ain’t over, ‘til it’s over.”

While Yogi is a baseball legend for the historic role he played as the New York Yankees’ catcher eons ago and this Yogi-ism (one of a countless total exclaimed over the years) is an expression referring to one game or race to the finish, Brooklyn Nets fans might want to keep in mind when it comes to the future of a certain player.

Like Joe Johnson.

If you thought the chances of general manager Billy King dealing Johnson next season had vanished due to rumored deals that failed to materialize earlier in the year, don’t close off the notion just yet.

“I don’t expect that he will be moved,” Howard Beck of Bleacher Report said on Monday, “but Joe Johnson’s name has been bandied about the last couple of years, partially because of his contract, partially because the Nets just weren’t getting anywhere with the group they had. You’ve already seen them cut ties with Deron Williams.

“Joe Johnson, while no longer the leading man at this stage of his career, would be a great role player for some team as a short term investment. He’s a free agent next summer. I can see him fitting in with any number of teams that expect to make a deep playoff run and the Nets are in a pseudo rebuild right now.

“So for the right offer, I could absolutely see Joe Johnson being moved,” Beck said.

Not only is the door open for Johnson being traded away, but the Nets must make every effort they can to negotiate a deal before the season is over and Johnson hits the free agent market. In most likelihood Brooklyn will see nothing more than a second round playoff appearance during Johnson’s 3+ year run with the team.

Johnson has done his part, but because of the pieces around him his acquisition from the Atlanta Hawks in 2012 has been a complete fail on every other level. In order to reconcile that trade, the Nets must get some young foundational pieces that will accelerate their rebuilding process moving forward.

And if the trading partner would only want to deal a draft pick or two in exchange for Johnson’s service, Brooklyn has to go for it.

Remember, the Nets already let Deron Williams go for nothing in return. And they’re still paying most of his salary while he plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Yes, Brooklyn would be free of Johnson financially if he plays out the final year of his deal in a Nets uniform, but to allow both Williams and Johnson to walk with nothing to show for it would be a catastrophe that an organization infamous for similar unthinkable developments throughout its history simply cannot afford.

Maybe Johnson finishes his deal with the Nets. Maybe King finds a way to move him before next season’s trade deadline. All that remains in the air.

One thing is for certain, though.

“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

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