3-on-3: On Joe Johnson

Instant reaction to the news of the Brooklyn Nets trading for Joe Johnson.

Nets are Scorching writers Justin DeFeo (@justindefeo) and Sandy Dover (@san_dova) are joined by Brett Lagree of Atlanta Hawk’s blog Hoopinion. (@hoopinion)

1. Good deal or bad deal?

  • Justin DeFeo: This deal in a vacuum (meaning without the indication that the Nets are no longer pursuing Dwight Howard) is a good deal. Getting Joe Johnson and pairing him with Deron Williams means the Nets now have a top three backcourt in the NBA. Is Joe Johnson overpaid? Probably, but he is at least a legitimate all-star. The NBA is a business, like it or not, and there was no way the Nets were going to go into Brooklyn without “name” players. If it wasn’t Joe Johnson, the Nets would have spent their money elsewhere and probably on a worse player.
  • Sandy Dover: My disdain for Billy King’s moves is well-documented, but I actually like Joe Johnson going to Brooklyn. Why? Because “Iso Joe” brings a number of bonafide skills and attributes that make the Nets better. One, he’s a pure scorer/shooter; two, he’s an All-Star talent who is pretty durable; three, he’s a leading man who doesn’t mind being the leading man; four, he’s a big perimeter player; five, he will be rejuvenated playing with a new team; and six, despite being an 11-year veteran and in his early 30s, J.J.’s skills aren’t purely based in his athleticism and his production is likely to continue to be a plus for the team.
  • Brett Lagree: It’s a good deal for the 2012-13 Nets, less so going forward. Joe Johnson is still an above average player. He showed last season that
    he could be more efficient as a finisher than a creator and, if Deron
    Williams re-signs he’ll have ample opportunities to spot up and
    finish. However, that means Johnson makes less use of his skill as a
    passer. He doesn’t rebound and his defense is more “not terrible” than
    “good.” He just wasn’t ever a $15 million a year player and he won’t
    be a $20+ million a year player on the downside of his career.


2. How will Joe Johnson fit in?

  • JD: Joe Johnson will fit just fine. He can score and more importantly can shoot. I’ve long said you need to surround Deron Williams with shooters and now with Johnson, Brook Lopez and if the Nets manage to sign Mirza Teletovic (a stretch four) the Nets will put out a very shooter friendly lineup. Just remember all those looks DeShawn Stevenson was getting last year as a result of Deron Williams penetration and imagine replacing Stevenson with Johnson.
  • SD: Johnson will fit fine, regardless of whether Deron Williams stays or Dwight Howard comes, largely because of what I said before — he doesn’t mind being the man if necessary, and has been so for years. Also, he’s a winning kind of guy who doesn’t mind being a complimentary star player, so either way, he’ll do nicely.
  • BL: He’ll fit in great when he’s catching-and-shooting or posting up.
    Less so when tasked with creating his own shot, especially against the
    better defenses. Defensively, he won’t trouble the Nets when matched
    up against low-usage wings but he won’t contribute much on that end,
    either. When he has to chase an offensive player around screens
    (either on-ball or off-ball) his lack of athleticism becomes apparent
    and his inability to rebound, block shots, or get steals becomes more
    of a problem.


3. The Nets will finish ______ in the East?

  • JD: Hard to say because they are (presumably) not done dealing yet. But with a core of (at least) Williams, Johnson, Wallace and Lopez, the Nets can finish in the range of 2nd to 4th. At worst in their first year together they’re in the playoffs.
  • SD: The Nets, in a worst-case scenario with Johnson, will be 10th. With Deron, worst-case, 9th. With MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries, worst-case is 7th, with Dwight…worst-case is 5th.
  • BL: Depending how free agency works out for the Nets, they could finish
    fifth or sixth in the East. They’ll get a bigger boost if Brook Lopez
    is healthy than from adding Joe Johnson. With Lopez and Johnson being
    such poor rebounders, Kris Humphries becomes awfully important to
    making this team function, too.