Nets signing Patty Mills and James Johnson, Bruce Brown takes QO
Then, they’ll team up on the Nets, who are also signing James Johnson and keeping Bruce Brown on the qualifying offer.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Restricted FA Bruce Brown Jr., is signing the one-year qualifying offer of $4.7M to return to the Brooklyn Nets, his agent Ty Sullivan of @CAA_Basketball tells ESPN. Brown can become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He's played important role both as starter and off bench.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Presumably, Mills got the full taxpayer mid-level exception – $ 5,890,000 next season, $6,184,500 the following season ($12,074,500 total). That’ll cost the Nets plenty more in luxury-tax, though they still can reduce their payroll before the tax is assessed on the last day of the regular season (maybe by trading DeAndre Jordan).
Capable of being a primary scorer against reserves, Mills is a solid third guard behind James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Mills’ long-range shooting also allows him to play with Brooklyn’s stars.
The Nets could use more frontcourt help rather than another offensive-minded guard, but that could come in a Spencer Dinwiddie sign-and-trade (Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell?).
Part center, part point guard, Brown has thrived with the Nets as a positionless defender and hustle player. But he might not be long for Brooklyn.
Only one player – Spencer Hawes with the 76ers – has ever taken a standard-contract qualifying offer then returned to the same team the following year. Brown can veto any trade this season then he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Johnson replaces Jeff Green (Nuggets) as small-ball center. A better shooter and more-mobile defender, Green set a high bar for that role. Johnson’s advantage as a passer is muted with Blake Griffin, an even better passer, becoming the primary option in the role.