Brooklyn Boro

Cam stays, Joe goes and Nets head to Vegas

Johnson stays, Harris dealt as Brooklyn opens summer slate

July 6, 2023 John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Nets general manager Sean Marks still hasn’t orchestrated the big one this summer.

If he intends to at all.

But Brooklyn’s executive roster-shaper has kept an important piece in the fold, bringing back restricted free-agent forward Cameron Johnson on a reported four-year, $108 million pact last week, according to ESPN.

Johnson, who arrived here via the blockbuster trade-deadline deal that sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix in February, averaged 16.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals per contest in 25 starts for Brooklyn during their stretch run toward the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Though the Nets were ousted in four games by Philadelphia in the opening round of the playoffs, they did see Johnson and fellow former Suns forward Mikal Bridges rise to the top of head coach Jacque Vaughn’s rotation.

Marks was reportedly interested in adding Portland point guard Damian Lillard to the mix via an offseason deal, but that has not yet materialized, nor does it figure to after the seven-time NBA All-Star revealed Saturday that he wanted to be sent to Miami.

The Nets could play a significant role in that swap if they become the third team in the trade.

Heat point man Tyler Herro, who made 38 percent of his 3-pointers last year as well as averaging over 20 points per game, could wind up in Brooklyn if Marks opts to be the third trade partner.

Herro could help fill the role, albeit diminished last season, of veteran Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris, whom Marks sent to Detroit last week for a pair of future second-round picks.

Joe Harris will no longer be draining 3s at Downtown’s Barclays Center after being traded to Detroit last week. AP Photo by Noah K. Murray

Harris’ departure will give Brooklyn nearly $20 million in additional salary-cap flexibility going forward this offseason.

The 31-year-old Harris buried 42.6 percent of his 3s in 2022-23, but he only started 33 of 74 contests and put up 7.6 points per game, his lowest average in seven full seasons here.

As Marks continues to weigh his options, the Nets are forging forward with their annual Summer League participation, which will include newly drafted rookies Noah Clowney, Dariq Whitehead and Jalen Wilson

The NBA 2K23 Summer League 2023 in Las Vegas will begin Friday and run through July 17.

Making their ninth overall appearance in the tournament, the Nets will send assistant coach Trevor Hendry to Sin City to oversee a roster comprised mostly of first- and second-year players.

Noah Clowney, Brooklyn’s first-round draft pick at Barclays Center last month, will represent the Nets in Summer League action beginning Friday night in Las Vegas. AP Photo by John Minchillo

Swingman RaiQuan Gray will also be on the roster for Brooklyn, which will face Cleveland Friday night at Cox Pavillion. That game will be televised on NBA TV at 8:30 p.m.

The Nets will also take on the arch rival Knicks Sunday before meeting Milwaukee on July 11 and Toronto July 13.

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