Update: As anticipated, Joe Johnson has been brought out by the Nets. And as anticipated, the Thunder are very interested.
Sources told ESPN.com that Johnson, after resisting buyout questions from reporters in recent weeks as the NBA’s trade deadline approached, has been sold on the idea of making a late-season switch and joining a contender for the stretch run if he and the Nets can come to terms on a contract settlement.
A number of likely playoff teams, sources said, are already pursuing Johnson: Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, Oklahoma City and Toronto.
Johnson needs to be released by Tuesday to make him playoff eligible for a new team.
The Thunder can offer Johnson two things other contenders can’t: 1) a direct path to playing time, possibly even the starting lineup and 2) more money. (The Thunder can still use a part of their mid-level exception.)
Johnson of course would be a quality addition, but it would also cause a depth restructuring, especially following the trade for Randy Foye, who played 22 minutes on Wednesday.
He’s played better recently, but on the season Johnson is averaging 11.8 points on 40.6 percent shooting.