Joe Johnson would sign with the Cavaliers if he works a buyout with the Nets and reaches free agency, sources tell Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Haynes earlier this month identified Cleveland’s interest in Johnson for the buyout market, but multiple reports since then have indicated that a buyout is unlikely for the 15th-year veteran who’s making almost $24,895MM on an expiring contract this season. The Nets understand the financial terms it would take to work a buyout with the 34-year-old sharpshooter, and for them, it’s a matter of whether the savings would be enough to justify a move that would help the Cavs, sources have explained to Haynes.
Johnson said recently that he’ll place a priority on winning when he picks his next team, but he wouldn’t dismiss the idea of re-signing with the Nets when his contract expires this summer. That suggests he’s in no hurry to do a buyout, and Haynes hears he isn’t giving a buyout a ton of thought. The Heat would also reportedly be interested in Johnson if he were to become available.
Cleveland has two open roster spots, though filling either of them, or both, would add to the team’s league-high projected tax bill. The Cavs nonetheless trimmed an estimated $10MM in combined salary and would-be tax penalties in a pair of trades Thursday.