Report: Nets Officially Waive Joe Johnson, Thunder Already In Pursuit

Thursday, February 25th 2016, 2:56 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger

With the Golden State Warriors dominating the basketball world to the tune of a 51-5 record, the rest of the NBA landscape is still searching for ways to get on the same level as Steph Curry and company.

Fortunately for some of the contending teams throughout the league, there may soon be an integral piece out on the market that could help propel a top tier team into the same stratosphere as the team from the Bay area.

The Brooklyn Nets and guard Joe Johnson have agreed on a buyout, and according to ESPN, the Oklahoma City Thunder are among the list of teams who’re already pursuing the 34-year-old sharp shooter.

After originally dodging the idea of being bought out from the final year of his six-year contract, Johnson has reportedly been sold on the idea of joining a contender for the stretch run of the season. The former Arkansas Razorback is averaging 11.8 points per game this season, but holds a 17.0 ppg average throughout his 14-year NBA career.

Johnson would be eligible to sign with another team as long as he’s released by Brooklyn before Tuesday.

Along with the Thunder, the Cavaliers, Hawks, Celtics, Rockets, Heat and Raptors have also shown interest in acquiring Johnson.

Despite his long tenured career, it appears Johnson still has something left in the tank. Since the start of the New Year, Johnson’s averaging 13.4 ppg while shooting 46 percent from behind the arc. Along with his shot-making ability, Johnson also bears the “clutch gene” which is so valuable once the playoffs roll around. He has seven game-winning buzzer-beaters in the last ten years, and embraces the idea of knocking down a shot when it matters most.

It could be a long shot, but Johnson would fit perfectly within the Thunder rotation, and he may be the missing piece OKC needs to make a run at the Warriors. With the inconsistency coming from the shooting guard spot on the Thunder roster, Johnson could solidify himself as a starter from day one and be guaranteed to play big minutes on a contending team. The idea of playing along all-world players such as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could also play a role in bolstering Johnson’s interest of signing with OKC.