Former Nets Big Man to Sign With Contender: Report

Alize Johnson

Getty Brooklyn's Nic Claxton (#33) and Alize Johnson (#24) run downcourt during the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at Barclays Center on April 16, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

With how much star power, talent and depth the Nets have on their roster, it’s no exaggeration to call their personnel an embarrassment of riches. They’re just that good.

Still, with a great roster comes good problems – i.e. there won’t be room for every solid role player.

Such was the case with Alize Johnson. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Nets were waiving the 25-year-old forward.

“The Nets are fond of Johnson,” Wojnarowski tweeted on Sept. 3, “but are loaded at his position and will allow him to play elsewhere.”

After clearing waivers on Monday, Wojnarowski reported Johnson’s new landing spot: the Bulls. Johnson and Chicago agreed on a two-year, $3.6 million deal.

“The Bulls had a need for power forward depth and (their) roster offers some real opportunity for Johnson, Wojnarowski wrote.

Johnson signed with the Nets in the middle of last season after averaging a double-double with Toronto’s G League affiliate, Raptors 905. He averaged 5.2 points and 5.0 rebounds for Brooklyn last season. The highlight of his stint with the Nets? A 20-point, 21-rebound effort in a win against the Indiana Pacers in April.

Still, Johnson became expendable as Nets general manager Sean Marks continued to bolster the team’s frontcourt. Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Nic Claxton, and James Johnson comprise a frontcourt that is as deep as it is versatile.

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Analysts Gush Over Nets’ Depth

On a recent edition of their podcast “The Mismatch,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor and Chris Vernon delve into just how deep the Nets are – especially now in their frontcourt.

“That’s the cool thing about Brooklyn,” O’Connor said. “They can play so many different ways.”

Vernon continued that sentiment, saying, “And not a little bit better equipped when they’re going to lose guys for an amount of time. Now if you lose Kyrie (Irving) for an amount of time, If you lose James Harden, even if you lose Kevin Durant for an amount of time, this time you’re able to withstand it even better this second time through with this version of the team.”

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Millsap and Aldridge Give Brooklyn a Dynamic Frontcourt

The additions of Millsap and Aldridge give the Nets a pair of former All-Stars who, although well past their prime, are still solid defenders and can spread the floor with their shooting.
“Paul Millsap definitely not the same player he was in his prime with Atlanta, Utah or even what he was early on with Denver, but I think he can still offer something to that team,” O’Connor said on “The Mismatch.” “They needed rebounding, they needed size. With Millsap and/or Aldridge, you’re getting that.

“With Aldridge’s rebounding ability, with the size he brings, they needed that and they missed that last year in the post-season. With Millsap, you bring in another veteran presence for you, who can shoot three’s for you, make the right plays. He plays hard, He’s not going to have to play 30 minutes per game any more. He played 20 minutes a game that last couple of year. If you can get that, it’s a nice addition for them.”

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