The Brooklyn Nets need to add another big man to help spell Jarrett Allen. Amir Johnson is emerging as a possible candidate for the job.
The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly eyeing veteran big man Amir Johnson as a replacement player heading into Orlando in the wake of several opt-outs from the NBA’s restart. The news was reported by Marc Stein of the New York Times, stating that Johnson is a prime target for frontcourt depth after DeAndre Jordan opted out of the restart and Nicolas Claxton underwent shoulder surgery
Johnson is a 14-year veteran, most recently suiting up for the 76ers and playing serviceable minutes off the bench. His first year in Philly — the 2017-18 season — saw Johnson average 15.8 minutes per game, but in 2019-20 he saw that number drop to 10.4 to go along with a mere 3.9 PPG average. Johnson did not re-sign in the summer of 2019, nor did he find another team in the market, leading to his current dormant period.
Signing with Brooklyn would come at an opportune time, as several vacancies within the Nets rotation have opened up. The aforementioned Jordan and Claxton are not alone, as Wilson Chandler, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant have announced their plans to not return, while Spencer Dinwiddie became the most recent to opt-out while he still recovers from COVID-19.
Johnson could become the next man up at the center position behind Jarrett Allen if he were signed, lining up potential valuable minutes that could land him a contract in the offseason. The veteran can switch to power forward as well, which could help alleviate the pressure for Taurean Prince and Rodions Kurucs who currently occupy that spot in the rotation.
Despite all of this speculation, the Nets have yet to sign the veteran. However, with players seemingly opting out of the resumption in Orlando at a rapid pace, Brooklyn may have to attack the open market more aggressively.