Joe Johnson shakes flu, Nets trade talk

By on December 12, 2014

Joe Johnson says players know what they've signed up for, and sometimes that includes hearing trade talk or getting traded.Alex Goodlett/Getty Images Joe Johnson says players know what they’ve signed up for, and sometimes that includes hearing trade talk or getting traded.

Joe Johnson seemed more concerned with his immune system and the flu he’s been wrestling with than he did with the thought of being traded on a day in which his own coach labeled the Nets as “not a very good team.”

Johnson barely flinched when he was asked if reports that surfaced earlier this week saying he might get dealt were a distraction.

“Nah. Not at all,” Johnson said following practice on Thursday. “This is what comes with the territory. And us as players, we still have jobs to do.” Johnson added: “We kinda all understood what we’re signing up for and the possibility of somebody getting traded so this is it.”

Johnson missed the last two games because of the flu but pronounced himself fit enough to play in Friday’s contest against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets, who officially listed Johnson as probable to play, will try to break a three-game losing streak, prompting coach Lionel Hollins to say of his club on Thursday, “We’re not a very good team at this stage of our development.”

Asked to clarify his remark, Hollins didn’t mince words, pointing to a lack of rebounding and defensive ability against quicker teams as obstacles holding the team back.

He also said the Nets wanted to play at a faster pace with center Brook Lopez out with a lower back strain but at this point didn’t know how to.

“Look at our record,” Hollins said of his 8-12 club. “I thought we would be better. I didn’t know when. We have some deficiencies. But with this group it’s a learning process of how to play (with tempo), and I think most of the guys would like to play quicker, but it gives the other team too many opportunities.”

After starting the season 0-17, Philly has now won two of their last four games.

It’s not exactly a marquee match-up for Johnson to make his return but he says he feels well enough to play after admitting he spent the last two days in bed because of the illness.

“I’m definitely going to play,” a weary-sounding Johnson said. “Came in today. I got here a little early, so I can try and get a little workout in. I felt pretty good. Still a little low on energy, but for the most part, I’ll be alright.”

That was the same attitude he took about his position on the trade market, after an report appeared on Tuesday, suggesting that he, along with the team’s pillars — Deron Williams and Brook Lopez — were the subject of trade discussions with other teams.

Johnson is in familiar territory. He’s been traded three times in his career, the first time coming his rookie year from Boston to the Phoenix Suns.

That led him to relay a humorous story about not knowing he had been dealt while his team was on a road trip even though his bags weren’t with the rest of the team’s at the hotel.

“My heart dropped because I had no clue,” Johnson said.

That’s likely not the case for former Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, who’s been rumored to be on the market for some time and was officially dealt to the 76ers on Thursday — along with guard Jorge Gutierrez, the Nets’ second-round draft pick in 2020 and the right to swap second round picks in 2018 — in exchange for 6-10 forward Brandon Davies.

With the move, the Nets created a $ 3.4 million trade exception and a $ 916,000 trade exception, Nets general manager Billy King said in a release.

Asked what he knows of Davies, Hollins said: “I just know that he broke the honor code at BYU. That’s what he’s famous for.”

Davies was dismissed from the BYU basketball team in 2011 after he confessed to having sexual relations with his girlfriend — a breach of the school’s honor code that says students can’t have pre-marital sex. He was later reinstated by the school.

Medical Report: Kevin Garnett was listed as questionable for Friday’s game with a sore left foot after missing practice on Thursday. Mirza Teletovic missed Wednesday’s loss to the Bulls with a right hip pointer and was in attendance for Thursday’s practice but was also listed as questionable…The Nets also announced the signing of free agent guard Darius Morris on Thursday.

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