5:46pm: The talks were exploratory in nature, a “brief discussion” that never became a negotiation, a league source told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
9:14am: The Nets and Grizzlies had recent talks about a trade involving Joe Johnson, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The sides were unable to come away with the framework of a deal, but the exchange nonetheless left Brooklyn encouraged that it will find a taker for Johnson’s nearly $24.895MM salary for next season, Stein adds (on Twitter).
Johnson’s deal presents obvious challenges even though it runs out after this coming season, as few teams have the flexibility to simply absorb it into cap space, and coming up with matching salaries would be a chore. Still, Memphis is the latest team to at least show interest in acquiring the swingman who turns 34 today, joining the Pistons and Hornets, who reportedly spoke with Brooklyn about him this past season. Both teams have since made other acquisitions that likely knock them out of the running for Johnson, as Stein points out, but there nonetheless appears to be a market, and that’s key for the Nets, who would have to pay repeat-offender tax penalties if they’re again over the tax line come the end of the 2015/16 regular season.
The Grizzlies have also been going after Danilo Gallinari, showing a clear desire for an upgrade on the wing, as Stein points out. Memphis will likely have to make any major addition via trade, since Jeff Green‘s decision to opt in cut off any realistic possibility the team has of creating significant cap space if Marc Gasol re-signs.