According to a report by ESPN's Marc Stein, Brooklyn guard and seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson has opened buyout negotiations with the Nets. The pool of interested suitors is (obviously) deep, and one of the teams expressing interest are your Toronto Raptors.
Joe Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets have opened buyout negotiations, ESPN has learned— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2016
Sources tell ESPN several playoff teams (Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, OKC and Toronto) are already in pursuit of Joe Johnson— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2016
A 34-year-old combo guard, Johnson is having a down year with the depressing Brooklyn Nets. Sleepwalking through the season, he's averaged just 11.8 points on 40.6 percent shooting along with 4.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. He's in the final year of a monster 6-year/$126 million contract signed back in 2010 and the Nets are resetting. A buyout is an olive branch to Johnson, and he'll likely take it and run to a contender.
But does it make sense for the Raptors? This really depends on the DeMarre Carroll situation. Johnson, at this point of his career, offers a bit of positional redundancy with Carroll. If Johnson is being brought in to play small forward, it would signal that Masai Ujiri is both making a win-now move and expressing doubt in Carroll's availability for the post-season (or health status).
An interesting wrinkle, though: Johnson and Carroll together might solve the Luis Scola-sized problem at power forward. A four-out shooting lineup with Valanciunas in the middle would be interesting to watch and, perhaps, bolster a rotation that's still in flux late in February.
What are your thoughts on Iso Joe possibly joining the Raptors?