Sunday, September 24 2023

The Detroit Pistons are interested in Brooklyn Nets restricted free-agent forward Cam Johnson, according to sources. The 6-foot-8 forward has an $8,468,620 qualifying offer for the 2023-24 season. Johnson was selected 11th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The UNC product was then immediately traded to the Phoenix Suns. In July 2019, Johnson signed a four-year, $18.59 million rookie scale contract with the team. This past February, Johnson, Mikal Bridges, and five first-round draft picks were dealt to Brooklyn for Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Detroit Pistons hold 29th-ranked odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks are giving the Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers better odds.

“League sources say Cam Johnson is prominent [and rising] on Detroit’s list of free agent targets,” wrote Marc Stein of “The Stein Line” on Friday. “Brooklyn’s restricted free agent swingman naturally has a huge new fan in Motown after the Pistons’ hiring of Monty Williams as coach — Johnson’s former coach in Phoenix.

“The Nets, though, are quietly expressing confidence that they have all but convinced Johnson to re-sign, or that they will match any external offer they need to match to keep him.”

Detroit Pistons are targeting Brooklyn Nets restricted free agent Cam Johnson, forward played for former Suns coach Monty Williams

Additionally, Johnson had the best season of his NBA career. In 42 appearances split between the Suns and Nets in the 2022-23 season, the fourth-year wing averaged career highs of 15.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 28.5 minutes per game. Plus, he shot a career-best 47% from the floor and 40.4% from downtown.

In 25 starts with Brooklyn this past season, Johnson averaged 16.6 points, 4.8 boards, 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 30.8 minutes per game. Of course, in the Nets’ 123-114 win over the Houston Rockets on Mar. 29, the forward scored a career-high 31 points in 36 minutes of action.

Furthermore, in Brooklyn’s first-round series loss against the Philadelphia 76ers of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Johnson logged 18.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 38 minutes per game.

In the Nets’ 96-84 loss in Game 2 to the Sixers, the forward scored a playoff career-high 28 points in 41 minutes as a starter. He finished 11-of-19 (57.9%) shooting from the field and drained five 3-pointers.

All things considered, will the Detroit Pistons add Cam Johnson? The Pennsylvania native could help support Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren. More importantly, Monty Williams was sad to see Johnson and Mikal Bridges traded away.

“Those are two guys that I’ll always be connected to and have an affinity for,” Williams said after the trade. On Thursday, Johnson also committed to represent Team USA in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, joining his former coach.

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Source: Basketball Insider


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