It’s no longer that bad here.
The Brooklyn Nets have waived seven-time All-Star and 34-year-old forward Joe Johnson, announcing the move Thursday afternoon prior to the team’s game against the Phoenix Suns.
“The Nets want to thank Joe for his many contributions to the team and the organization,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a prepared statement. “Joe has been a quality professional since joining the Nets four years ago, was a valued member of three playoff teams, and provided many thrilling moments for his teammates and Nets’ fans. We wish him much success in the future.”
Nets general manager Sean Marks told Michael Kay on The Michael Kay Show that Johnson left $3 million on the table to leave the Nets. The swingman was in the last year of a contract worth $24.9 million. Those savings could theoretically allow the Nets to sign a player with their Disabled Player Exception.
Johnson released a statement through his Twitter account.
“Thank you to all of the Brooklyn and New York Fans for your support during my time with the Brooklyn Nets. I want to thank the Nets organization and I wish nothing but the best to the team. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career and am excited to bring my talents to a new team.”
Though Johnson had said he would be fine playing out the season in Brooklyn, he’d also made it clear that he wanted to join a winner in free agency. Marks & the Nets agreed to let him leave prematurely, so he could chase a deep playoff run this season. Johnson has not been beyond the second round of the playoffs in over a decade.
Marks wouldn’t dismiss bringing Johnson back in the summer, but said that “we’ve got some different things on our horizon right now.”
At the time of the buyout, Johnson has more games played, minutes played, and points scored in a Brooklyn Nets uniform than any player in the team’s history, and hit numerous game-winning shots in his three-plus seasons.
Johnson is eligible to join another team’s playoff roster, and he is expected to sign with another team soon. He will clear waivers on Sunday.