THURSDAY, 9:22am: The Pistons and Nets have found no traction in the talks, a Nets team source told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Both Bondy and the Windrem, who writes in a full piece, hear there’s “nothing” going on.
WEDNESDAY, 9:55pm: Johnson confirmed that the rumors about the Nets making him available via a trade are true, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post tweets.
5:52pm: A league source has informed Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (Twitter links) that the Nets aren’t seriously considering sending Johnson to Detroit. If the Nets wished to simply dump Johnson’s salary, they could have done so back in January, Windrem adds.
4:19pm: Detroit offered the Nets a package consisting of Brandon Jennings and a number of expiring contracts for Johnson, Youngmisuk reports (Twitter link). Jennings is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.
TUESDAY, 3:15pm: The Pistons have engaged the Nets to ask about trading for Joe Johnson, league sources tell Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link). The Nets have at the very least been willing to trade Johnson since December, and some reports indicated that they were actively seeking to move him. It’s unclear just how motivated the Pistons are to make a deal, which would require the team to give up a boatload of assets to match Johnson’s $23.181MM salary.
Charlotte has heretofore been most prominently linked to Johnson, with talks that reportedly date back to January, when Brooklyn was discussing a three-way deal with the Hornets and Oklahoma City that involved Brook Lopez. Lance Stephenson was the centerpiece of the proposal that would have sent Johnson to Charlotte, but the Nets apparently aren’t interested in Stephenson at this point. The Nets seem disinclined to make a deal unless it helps them win this year, tweets Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.
Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy has shown little hesitation to make bold moves, as his release of Josh Smith in December demonstrated. Johnson isn’t the superstar his salary suggests, but he’s a productive player and Brooklyn’s leading scorer at 15.5 points per game. He makes nearly $24.895MM next season, but his contract comes off the books after that, in advance of the much anticipated summer of 2016 when the salary cap is set to spike upward to around $90MM.