Tag: Joe Johnson

Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets

Thaddeus Young says look for the Nets to run this season. Does Lionel Hollins know?

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Last season, the Brooklyn Nets were 24th in the NBA in pace (possessions per game) under old-school coach Lionel Hollins. Before than Hollins had been in Memphis and when he took them over for the 2009-10 season they were a top 10 team in pace, but by the time he was let go they were dead last in the league. He’s not seen as a running coach.

But the Nets are going to run this year if you ask Thaddeus Young.

Young was on SiriusXM NBA Radio and talked about the Nets playing faster this season under Hollins.

Look at the Brooklyn Nets likely starting five — Jarrett Jack, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez — and you see a group that can get out and run. Reserves such as Shane Larkin, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and even Andrea Bargnani (sprinting to the arc) would love to play more in transition. They are not going to be the Warriors, but the Nets don’t need to be slow.

But we’ll see what Hollins has in store for them. If he wants to pound it in to Lopez in the post or at the elbow, things will not be fast.

Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic rolls ankle readying for EuroBasket, says he’ll be fine

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four
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The Nets are going to count on Bojan Bogdanovic this season, he likely starts on the wing next to Joe Johnson and will get heavy minutes.

Part of Bogdanovic’s off-season program is to play in EuroBasket with his native Bosnia and Herzegovina (along with fellow NBA players Jusuf Nurkic and Mirza Teletovic). But playing in real games means an increased injury risk and that befell the Nets two guard.

It’s nothing serious, he tweeted.

This is not enough for the Nets to pull an Alexis Ajinca, but Brooklyn will be watching. The injury shouldn’t linger into training camp if he doesn’t aggravate it.

Bosnia and Herzegovina open EuroBasket play Sept. 5 against Poland. Bogdanovic and his teammates are expected to have a tough time advancing out of the round robin play to the knockout tournament, they are in a group with France and Russia but more realistically would need to beat Finland or Israel to advance.

Nets finally taking responsible path to rebuilding, don’t expect another spending spree next summer

Brooklyn Nets Deron Williams Paul Pierce Kevin Garnett

A few years back, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov knew he needed a winning team to open the Barclays’ Center, a team that could get New York’s attention. He ordered his GM to spend without concern for the luxury tax, he openly laughed at that demarcation line. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, trading for Joe Johnson, and the list goes on — Brooklyn bought a pretty good team, one that made the second round of the playoffs, but at a ridiculous price tag.

Now, times have changed — the Nets waived Deron Williams, traded Garnett, let Pierce bolt to the other coast, and made moves to get under (or at least close to) the luxury tax. Prokhorov is sending out letters to season ticket holders touting a younger, more athletic team. They are going to try and build in a more traditional way. Well, except without draft picks for a while.

That means next summer, when they have cap space again, don’t expect the Nets to spend like mad on one big free agent, reports Nets Daily.

One league source told NetsDaily it will be a long time, if ever, before the Nets pay the luxuy tax again. Part of his thinking is that they will go into next summer with $40 million in cap space, enough to pursue a star or more likely, pay two of three good players … some of whom may be their own. The other reason is they think with a longer term strategy and some good fortune, they can win while being fiscally frugal. They’re putting a LOT of stock in continuity, particularly with the coaching staff. (The insider said that he could foresee the Nets maxing out only one of their current playes, Bojan Bogdanovic, two years from now if he breaks out.)

They are going to act like 29 other teams.

The general rule of thumb around the league is not to go into the tax — especially avoid the dreaded repeater tax (for being above the tax line three out of four years) — unless you are in a window of title contention. The Cavaliers are about to do it to keep LeBron James happy, but they should — with him they are contenders for the next five years (at least). But you don’t  see even the big market money machines like the Lakers and Knicks willing to spend way over the line right now, at least until they get somewhere near contender status again. You can’t just buy a team.

What this likely means for the Nets is some short term pain. They certainly still have the talent to make the bottom half of the playoffs in the East — they did spend this summer to retain Brook  Lopez and Thaddeus Young — but the rebuilding is going to take a little time. Especially considering all the draft picks they sent away during the “win now” era (Boston will be picking for the Nets a lot in the coming years).

The Nets have learned how to build patiently, while their owner has learned how to dodge marriage promises. They may be getting things right, but there is still a price to be paid for their win-now era.

Report: Joe Johnson “pumped” that Deron Williams bought out by Nets

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When Brooklyn bought out Deron Williams and waived him, the primary reason discussed was all the money the Nets would save as they worked to get out of the luxury tax.

But there were other reasons — William’s melancholy demeanor had worn on the Nets locker room, according to people close to the team. Moving him would mean an improved chemistry.

That starts with Joe Johnson. The Nets have tried to move him (no matter they spin now), but with Williams gone the plan has shifted to keep him, and the team expects a bounce back season from Johnson and other Nets returnees, reports Nets Daily.

Moreover, various sources inside the Nets have suggested that the departure of D-Will is likely to help Johnson rebound. It was no secret that Brooklyn’s Backcourt didn’t get along….

One insider, asked after the buyout if the Nets were still pursuing a Johnson trade, firmly said no. He volunteered there was probably no one more pumped about the buyout than Johnson.  “I am sure Joe will have a tremendous season,” he added with a smile.

It’s also the last year of Johnosn’s contract, his play this year will set the tone for what he gets paid next summer — which will be less than the $24.9 million he is owed this year. Johnson was solid last season, averaging 14.4 points per game, hitting 35 percent from three, and with a true shooting percentage pf 52.3 percent right near the league average. In the playoffs, he averaged 16.5 points per game.

His massive salary, by the way, is the other key reason the Nets didn’t move Johnson — that’s a lot of money to move. Teams willing to take it on were going to want to send players and contracts back that were going to last beyond just one season. The Nets didn’t want that.

What they want is to get out of the tax and spend money on a few quality but not max players, not one superstar.

But that’s next summer. First comes a season where we will see what Jarrett Jack can do for them at the point, and if just re-signed Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez can stay healthy and take a step forward.


Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov: “We had a really good offseason.”

Mikhail Prokhorov

It’s not very often that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov speaks publicly about his team. But after a largely successful offseason, the team posted a two-minute video to their official website in which the Russian billionaire praised the efforts of GM Billy King.

Via the New York Post‘s Tim Bontemps:

“First of all, we had a really good offseason – better than a lot of people expected,” Prokhorov said. “Without a lot of noise, we got a lot done. Brook and Thaddeus are staying with us, which gives us continuity in our frontcourt. Joe Johnson stays as a core player. We also have high expectations for Bojan Bogdanovic, who showed us real flashes of brilliance in his first year on the Nets.

“Some of you have noticed a shift in our approach. You’ll see a team that is younger and more athletic this season. Our approach has been more strategic. We are making all necessary moves to be set up well for the future. But one thing remains constant, and make no mistake about it: We are here to win, and we’ll do whatever we can, together with all of you who are working for us.”

One player Prokhorov didn’t mention at all in the video is Deron Williams, who agreed to a buyout earlier in July before signing with his hometown Dallas Mavericks. Williams was the franchise cornerstone for much of Prokhorov’s tenure as owner, and he never really worked out the way they’d hoped.

With that said, Prokhorov is right that the team has had a pretty solid offseason. They had no choice but to keep their core together — they can’t tank for a draft pick, since all of their upcoming draft picks are either owned by Boston outright or as pick swaps. They re-signed Lopez and Young to reasonable deals, and made a few solid under-the-radar signings to fill out the end of the bench, including Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and Thomas Robinson. They won’t be title contenders by any means, but they’ll be in the playoff mix like they were last season.