Brooklyn is on the lookout for frontcourt help after losing Nicolas Claxton to a shoulder injury and DeAndre Jordan to a positive COVID-19 test. The team is eligible to sign multiple substitute players due to the fact that Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie – who also contracted the coronavirus – won’t be participating in the NBA restart.
Johnson, 33, last played in the NBA during the 2018/19 season, when he averaged 3.9 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 51 games (10.4 MPG) for the Sixers. He has spent another 13 seasons with the Pistons, Raptors, Celtics, and 76ers since entering the league in 2005, appearing in 870 total regular season contests.
Although Johnson is unlikely to fill up the box score, he’s a solid defender and screen setter who should be a positive asset in the locker room. He’d likely be an insurance piece off the bench for Brooklyn, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if he sees some minutes, as the team will be down six players. In addition to Claxton, Jordan, and Dinwiddie, the Nets will be missing Kevin Durant (Achilles), Kyrie Irving (shoulder), and Wilson Chandler (opted out).
If the Nets finalize a deal with Johnson, it would be a rest-of-season, minimum-salary contract that would put him on track to reach unrestricted free agency in the fall. Brooklyn wouldn’t hold any form of Bird rights on him at that time.
Whichever player Johnson technically replaces would be ineligible to return in 2019/20.