The Brooklyn Nets have discussed a trade package with the Charlotte Hornets that would send seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson to the Charlotte Hornets for a package designed around embattled shooting guard and Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The Nets and Hornets recently engaged in trade discussions regarding Nets center Brook Lopez, but those talks fizzled.
For more on this hypothetical trade, I refer you to The Brooklyn Game from December 10th, when we discussed this exact trade possibility:
Johnson is a Nike Jordan Brand athlete who, like most NBA players, speaks glowingly of the Michael Jordan, saying just last year that the highlight of his young career with the Celtics was guarding Jordan, while Jordan was in his first year back with the Wizards. The Hornets are, of course, owned by Jordan.
Jordan’s Hornets are nowhere near Jordan’s lofty standards as a player: despite a serendipitous season last year that got the then-Bobcats into the playoffs, they’ve opened the season at a rock-bottom 5-15 and might be looking to make a change. This deal would give the Hornets a chance to hit an early reset button with Stephenson, who has been a poor fit, and allow Johnson to provide a steady hand alongside the explosive Kemba Walker.
For Brooklyn, there’s a chance to finally have a Brooklyn-born player in the mercurial but talented Stephenson, and the bonus players allow them to improve their wing depth. One roadblock: the Nets have shied away from guys with character issues in the past, and Stephenson all but defines the term.
The report from Wojnarowski adds that the Nets are “still intent” on moving Brook Lopez, and that the Denver Nuggets remain interested in a deal. The Nets reportedly gathered intel on Lance Stephenson earlier this season and decided to pass at the time.
Johnson has averaged 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game this season, leading the Nets with 42 games started. The Nets have scored nearly nine fewer points per possession with Johnson on the bench this season.