Why the Nets reportedly gave a poison-pill offer sheet to Tyler Johnson
Brooklyn is building an actual team
The Brooklyn Nets will sign guard Tyler Johnson to a four-year, $50 million offer sheet as soon as the free agency moratorium is over, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. Johnson is a restricted free agent, but it's hard to imagine the Miami Heat matching this contract.
For Johnson, the contract represents one of the most rapid financial ascensions in recent league history: From an undrafted NBA Development League guard in 2015, to participating in only 68 games over parts of the past two seasons, to a staggering poison-pill contract that guarantees seasons of $18 million-plus and $19 million-plus in the final two years of the deal.
The Gilbert Arenas provision allows Johnson to make $5.6 million and $5.8 million in the first two years of the deal, but salaries of $18 million-plus and $19 million-plus in 2018-19 and 2019-20 make the offer sheet more prohibitive for the Heat to match.
Sacramento, Chicago, Charlotte and New Orleans were among aggressive suitors for Johnson, league sources said.
People are going to freak out about this contract, which has a player option on the fourth season for some reason, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge. A lot of fans have never seen the 24-year-old Johnson play in an NBA game. The Nets have done their scouting, though, and they recognize his potential as a two-way combo guard.
Few guards are more athletic than Johnson, and if the Nets plan to push the pace, then pairing him with Jeremy Lin makes lots of sense. Another plus: He made 38 percent of his 3-pointers last season, including 54.5 percent from the corners. The sample size is not large here, but for a team that is short on draft picks, far away from contention and full of cap space, this is a gamble worth taking. While it could be years before Brooklyn returns to the playoffs, it is starting to look like the team will at least be fun and competitive.
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