RUMOR: Potential contract for Nets’ Cam Johnson, revealed?

When the Brooklyn Nets traded future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns, their return appeared to be primarily focused on the draft capital they received in return.

However, not only have the players the received from the trade — namely Mikal Bridges — thrived since arriving in Brooklyn, but they’ve averaged career-highs since the joining their new team. This includes 27-year-old forward Cam Johnson, a fourth-year pro that’s averaging 17.0 points for the Nets despite uncharacteristic inefficiency from 3-point range.

However, while Bridges is under contract through the 2025-26 season, Johnson will become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Looking forward, this not only presents a minor obstacle for the Nets to re-sign him, as he could be offered a contract that Brooklyn is unwilling to match with several teams projected to have at least $30 million in cap space this offseason. Nonetheless, it’s also a hurdle for other teams to retain his services, given the possibility that the Nets will simply match the offer sheet in order to remain competitive.

As of today, Johnson is expected to demand at least “$18 million annually, and could easily top $20 million,” per the New York Post’s Brian Lewis.

The factors contributing to his market value extend past his production though, as Johnson has a close relationship with Bridges and has the prized 3-and-D skillset at a premium position. Furthermore, “with a new leaguewide TV deal kicking in after 2024-25, it’ll make the end of Johnson’s contract a smaller cut of whatever the salary cap becomes.”

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