The Nets want to trade Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and/or Deron Williams.
Another team in the Eastern Conference playoff race could also be exploring a Johnson trade.
The Detroit Pistons have reached out to the Brooklyn Nets to inquire about the availability of former All-Star swingman Joe Johnson, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPNNewYork.com that no deal is imminent but said the teams have had exploratory discussions in advance of Thursday’s trade deadline about a trade package built around injured point guard Brandon Jennings and expiring contracts in exchange for Johnson.
Such a deal would look something like this:
- Brandon Jennings
- Jonas Jerebko
- Caron Butler
- Joel Anthony or Luigi Datome
- Joe Johnson
The Nets would also need to include or waive two players – most likely from the group of Jerome Jordan, Darius Morris, Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson, each of whom has an expiring minimum contract.
But why would the Pistons do this?
Johnson’s $24,894,863 salary next season would wipe out their cap space. And for what? A declining 33-year-old – plus the loss of Jennings, who was playing exceptionally before his season-ending injury.
Stan Van Gundy said the Pistons won’t sacrifice future assets to chase a playoff spot, so it’s hard to see him making this deal. Maybe the Nets can leverage a better offer from Charlotte, which wouldn’t want to see Detroit improve, but that’s probably the upside for Brooklyn.