The Brooklyn Nets may have one of the most talented rosters in NBA history, at least on paper. Headlined by All-Stars Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the 38-18 Nets have been every bit as good as advertised as they compete for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Despite the embarrassment of riches on Brooklyn’s roster, they have had the same issues as most other NBA teams. Specifically, the team has struggled to round out its roster as it prepares for a long playoff road ahead. Veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge retired on Thursday, April 15 due to an irregular heartbeat, which has left general manager Sean Marks and the Nets front office with an open roster spot to fill.
One former Nets’ All-Star who is eyeing an NBA comeback may be the perfect replacement.
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Joe Johnson Eyeing NBA Comeback
According to NBA insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson on Saturday, April 17, former Nets star Joe Johnson is attempting a comeback and has several suitors, including the Eastern Conference powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks.
“Bucks aren’t the only team interested in Joe Johnson,” Robinson wrote on Twitter. “Other teams keeping tabs on ISO Joe: Clippers, Nets, Jazz, Lakers.”
Bucks aren’t only team interested in Joe Johnson.
Other teams keeping tabs on ISO Joe: Clippers, Nets, Jazz, Lakers.
The 39 year old impressed during USA Basketball Men’s AmeriCup Qualifying Team while averaging 11 PPG, 9 RPG and 6.5 APG. pic.twitter.com/2DaxRoTLzi
— 👑 Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson 📍 (@ScoopB) April 17, 2021
The seven-time NBA All-Star was a part of the original Nets super team with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams. However, they enjoyed minimal success making it to the second round of the playoffs in 2014 and were eliminated by LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Now 39 years old, Johnson has not played in the NBA since 2018 during his short stint with Harden and the Houston Rockets.
While Johnson has not played NBA ball in three years, he has still managed to stay active on the basketball court. During his time with the USA Basketball Men’s AmeriCup Qualifying Team, he averaged 11.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game, per Robinson.
REPORT: Joe Johnson is attempting an NBA comeback, via @MikeAScotto
LOVE to see it. ISO Joe. ✊ pic.twitter.com/Z9pcVQPlef
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 13, 2021
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‘Iso Joe’ Shined in the BIG3 League
Johnson was also a part of Ice Cube’s BIG3 league, a half-court three-on-three basketball league that takes place during the NBA offseason. Johnson won the BIG3’s Most Valuable Player award in 2019 after leading the league in points (175), assists (31), four-point shots (four), and total field goals (63) and finishing second in three-pointers made (16).
As a result of his play, he started to garner interest from NBA teams. While Johnson is grateful for the acknowledgment he insists that is not the reason he joined the BIG3.
“I am hopeful to get back, but I did not get in the BIG3 to get back to the league,” Johnson said, via The Undefeated. “I had a great career. I enjoyed the process. The only thing that keeps the NBA fire in the belly is how it ended in Houston. That just does not sit well with me. So, if an opportunity comes along and I feel that it is worth it, yeah, I take that chance.”
Johnson could end up being another key pickup for the Nets on the buyout market. With centers Nic Claxton and DeAndre Jordan playing well as of late, there may no longer be a need to replace Aldridge with another big.