Keon Johnson Signs Two-Way Contract With Nets

NOVEMBER 1: The Nets have officially signed Johnson to a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release.

OCTOBER 31: Free agent guard Keon Johnson plans to sign a two-way deal with the Nets, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

As our tracker shows, the Nets have an open two-way spot, so they won’t need to waive anyone to sign Johnson. Their 18-man roster will be full once the move is official.

Johnson, the 21st overall pick of the 2021 draft, was sent to Phoenix from Portland in the three-team blockbuster that saw Damian Lillard land with Milwaukee. The 21-year-old was waived by the Suns last week, just before the season started, due to the team’s roster crunch.

The fourth-year option on Johnson’s rookie scale contract was declined when he was cut by Phoenix, though the team will still be paying his $2.8MM salary this season. After clearing waivers, the third-year guard became an unrestricted free agent, but he was ineligible to return to the Suns on a two-way deal since his contract was guaranteed for more than $75K (the maximum two-way protection amount). Phoenix is now the lone NBA team with a two-way opening.

An explosive athlete who was viewed as a developmental project when he declared for the draft after one college season at Tennesseee, Johnson struggled to score efficiently over his first two NBA seasons with the Clippers and Trail Blazers, averaging a combined 5.9 PPG, 1.8 APG and 1.6 RPG on .362/.343/.739 shooting in 77 games (14.4 MPG). Due to the Nets’ crowded backcourt, Johnson will likely be spending a good chunk of 2023/24 in the G League with their affiliate in Long Island.

If Johnson officially signs on Wednesday, he’ll earn a two-way salary of $534,045 and will be eligible to appear in up to 48 regular season games.

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