Report: If Nets buy out Joe Johnson, he’ll sign with Cavaliers

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A report last month said Joe Johnson wasn’t interested in a buyout with the Nets.

But few deeply believed that, because players like Johnson – veterans in the final year of their contract with bad teams – often say they don’t want a buyout only to take one.

If Johnson accepts a buyout, it seems he has already picked his destination.

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Should Johnson, 34, obtain a buyout of his $25 million salary for the season, Cleveland would be his next destination, sources with knowledge of the dialogue insist to cleveland.com.

Brooklyn is aware of the ballpark figure it would take for Johnson to agree to a buyout, a source said. The way sources characterize the situation, Brooklyn has to decide whether they want to help the Cavaliers, or allow Johnson to play out his contract as is.

Johnson is owed $8,054,220 the rest of this season – per $146,440 day. The Cavaliers could pay him only the minimum salary – $8,819 per day.

How much money would Johnson relinquish to leave Brooklyn?

Johnson could stay with the Nets as long as possible to maximize his earnings. As long as they waive him before March 1, he’d be eligible for a playoff roster. (He could sign with his new team at any point before the regular season ends.) Brooklyn would save money the rest of the season, an amount negotiated between the team and Johnson.

The Cavs have been interested in adding wing depth, but they used a first-rounder to trade for power forward/center Channing Frye before yesterday’s deadline. Johnson isn’t the defensive-minded ideal fit, but he probably trumps any realistic alternatives.

Johnson would be a nice addition for Cleveland – if he becomes available.