Atlantic Notes: C. Johnson, Petrusev, Bamba, Keels

Cameron Johnson‘s new four-year contract with the Nets is front-loaded, with a cap hit of approximately $25.7MM in 2023/24. His cap charges in the subsequent three seasons will all be lower than that, including a drop to $21.6MM in ’25/26.

Discussing his new deal on Tuesday, Johnson explained that he hopes the structure of the contract will help the Nets be more financially flexible in future years than they would have been if he had agreed to traditional annual raises.

“Yes, that’s a big part of it,” Johnson said, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “I want to be surrounded by the best players possible. I want to be on the best team possible. So as to how the contract is weighted, it’s not like they’re taking or adding anything to it, it’s just a distribution of it. So I was trying to be as flexible as possible in allowing the best for the team situation.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Will draft-and-stash prospect Filip Petrusev sign his first NBA contract with the Sixers this offseason? Head coach Nick Nurse seemed to suggest as much during an appearance on Tyrese Maxey‘s Maxey on the Mic podcast, referring to the 2021 second-rounder as a player “who’s going to be on the roster this year” (hat tip to Eurohoops). With James Harden‘s trade request still unresolved and Philadelphia bringing back Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell to go along with new addition Mohamed Bamba, it would be a little surprising if the team is fully committed to bringing Petrusev – another center – stateside for 2023/24, but it sounds like it might happen.
  • Speaking of Bamba, he spoke to reporters on Monday about his decision to sign with the Sixers and the role he expects to play with his new NBA team. As Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer details, the former lottery pick will be looking to show that he can be relied upon as a regular rotation player. “The next step for me is just consistency,” Bamba said. “Barring any injuries, just being out there and, you know, doing what I do best, protecting the rim, touching the floor and being so much more of a lob threat.”
  • Restricted free agent guard Trevor Keels is looking to show the Knicks with his Summer League play that he deserves to be part of the team’s plans going forward, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. He’s off to a shaky start, scoring just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting during his first two games in Las Vegas — New York has been outscored by 52 points during his 33 minutes on the floor, per Braziller.
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