The Brooklyn Nets are currently 8th in the Eastern Conference and will be playing in the NBA play-in tournament next week. There is still some wiggle room as to what seed they will end up at, but the team’s two remaining regular-season games will help them get prepared for postseason play.
Brooklyn made an interesting move on Thursday that could certainly impact things going into the NBA playoffs. NBA insider Shams Charania has reported that the Nets have released veteran forward James Johnson.
The Nets have waived forward James Johnson.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 7, 2022
Nets waiving James Johnson likely means Kessler Edwards is getting a standard NBA contract, making him eligible for the playoffs.
— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) April 7, 2022
The move appears to mean that Kessler Edwards will be signed to a new contract and become eligible for the playoffs.
Johnson has played pretty significant minutes for the Nets this year, averaging 19.2 minutes on the season. While he is no star player, a team releasing a valuable piece of their rotation just ahead of the playoffs is definitely a perplexing move, with many around the NBA world questioning this decision.
Best defender and brought much needed toughness….cut to keep Edward's lmao
— Steve Lemonakis (@Steve_Lemonakis) April 7, 2022
Why was Nash playing him so much if he wasn't going to play in the playoffs? Nets got played.
— TJ (@tjfromusa) April 7, 2022
Bad decision on the nets part ….his contribution might reflect on the stat sheet but they needed his toughness rebounding and play making ..As a Sixers fan , we welcome it ..
— Dax (@DaxGeb) April 7, 2022
Thank you for your time in James Johnson… you weren’t that productive lately but you played hard
— Cody Mallory (@RealCodyMallory) April 7, 2022
The team has been much better down the stretch with the return of Kevin Durant, as well as Kyrie Irving being able to play home games after the NYC vaccine mandate was changed.
The Nets could also greatly benefit from the return of Ben Simmons, who has not played yet since being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons has not been ruled out yet for the playoffs, so if Brooklyn does make it out of the play-in tournament, there’s still a possibility for the Nets to be contenders in the Eastern Conference.