Brooklyn Nets: Joe Johnson comeback better not impact BK’s playoff run

BROOKLYN, NJ - JANUARY 11: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NJ - JANUARY 11: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

When the Brooklyn Nets finally arrived in the city after leaving New Jersey, they confirmed that this was not a franchise to be trifled with in the early going by acquiring star guard Joe Johnson. The 6-7 stud was known as “Iso Joe” due to his ability to cook ball-handlers one-on-one.

While Johnson didn’t win a championship with Brooklyn or match the same prolific scoring production that he put up with the Atlanta Hawks, he helped the Nets make the postseason several times and establish the relocated franchise as a consistent winner in their early days.

Johnson hasn’t played in the NBA since 2017-18, a season in which he split time between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, though he has mixed in a Big 3 stint and a tryout with the Detroit Pistons in the interim. Somewhat unexpectedly, Johnson sounds determined to give it one last college try in the NBA as he chases a ring.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype is reporting that Johnson, 39, wants to try and latch onto an NBA roster, and the Milwaukee Bucks are showing some serious interest. If the Nets don’t use one of their roster spots to sign him, which is admittedly an unlikely scenario, he better not hurt their playoff chances by signing with the Bucks.

Should the Brooklyn Nets sign Joe Johnson?

Johnson is not going to be the volume scorer he was in the past, and even his solid shooting numbers started to dip a little bit with age, but that doesn’t change the fact that he can pull up from mid-range and make a few open 3s if called upon.

If there are two teams where Johnson fits perfectly, it’s Brooklyn and Milwaukee. They like to play as fast as possible and shoot as many 3-pointers as the game situation will allow. With both of those squads looking like title contenders, adding an end-of-the-bench veteran, which Milwaukee did last year by signing Pau Gasol, might not be the worst idea ever.

The Nets once used the seven-time All-Star, who averaged 14.7 points per game with Brooklyn, as their preferred option down the stretch, often leaning on him in the clutch. While the Bucks clearly wouldn’t do the same if they signed him, it would surprise absolutely no one if he hit a big shot or two near the end of the regular season to improve Milwaukee’s seeding.

Johnson might not be the killer he was in Brooklyn or Atlanta, and he wouldn’t see the floor much even if he did get signed, but far be it from me to doubt Iso Joe if he wants to make one last go of it in the pros. With a potential playoff matchup against Milwaukee looming, the Nets better hope Johnson doesn’t sign and turn back the clock.