Nets guard Tyler Johnson impressed in Brooklyn’s final scrimmage on Monday.
While Jamal Crawford is still getting up to speed with the rest of his teammates and was held out of the Brooklyn Nets final scrimmage before the NBA restart on Monday, the same cannot be said for fellow substitute signing Tyler Johnson, who made his debut for the team last night.
Approximately four years after the Nets gave him a $50 million offer sheet — which the Miami Heat ultimately matched just a few days later — Johnson finally suited up for Brooklyn and looked like a player that was out to prove something to general manager Sean Marks.
In his first game since February, the 28-year-old guard scored 17 points and was pivotal to the Nets pulling out the win, as he made several clutch baskets, including a jumper that gave them a four-point cushion with less than two minutes remaining.
After the game, Johnson’s new teammates praised his production and impact off the bench, and rightfully so.
However, while these rave reviews are fully deserved, we would advise folks not to overreact after one good performance. For starters, it was against a San Antonio Spurs team that was playing soft defense and likely won’t end up qualifying for the playoffs when all is said and done.
Are we trying to take away from Johnson’s big night? No. Far from it, actually. The takeaway here is that, if these sort of performances continue, it could trick the Nets into grossly overpaying to keep him around.
Considering the depth that Brooklyn has in the backcourt — Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris and Garrett Temple, to name a few — that would be a massive mistake. Depending on what lineup is out there, the likes of Wilson Chandler and Taurean Prince could play shooting guard as well. The Nets would simply be better off adding depth in the front court, where they are alarmingly thin behind rim protectors DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen.
The fact here is that Johnson is one of numerous substitute signings in Orlando that are playing for a new contract, whether it be from Brooklyn or another team. We strongly believe that Marks is smart enough to not fall for Johnson’s purple patch, but the team’s history with the Fresno State product is a cause for concern.
Don’t get fooled again.