The Brooklyn Nets have extended an $8.5 million qualifying offer to Cam Johnson, making him a restricted free agent

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At last year’s trade deadline, Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson were traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The Suns sent over four unprotected first-round picks as well in exchange for Kevin Durant. Bridges proved to be a star with the Nets and Johnson played a big role as well. Today, league sources announced that Brooklyn has extended an $8.5 million qualifying offer to Johnson. That makes him a restricted free agent. 

Johnson started and played in 25 games for the Nets after the trade deadline last season. It was a small sample size, but he averaged a career-high (16.6) points per game. His three-point efficiency dropped slightly after the trade. He still shot an impressive (.372) percent from beyond the arc.

Ahead of free agency beginning on Friday, the Nets had until tomorrow to extend a qualifying offer to Johnson. If they didn’t do that, he would have been an unrestricted free agent. The Nets still have a chance to match any offer that Johnson gets during the offseason.

The Nets are serious about retaining Cam Johnson this offseason

After his play over the last 2-3 seasons, Cam Johnson has earned himself a nice payday this summer. He just finished a four-year, $18.5 million rookie deal. Reports around the league say he could earn a contract worth 100+ million and over 20+ million annually.

Johnson was never signed after his rookie extension with the Suns. It was possible that Phoenix has plans to get that done this offseason, but they traded him away. Now, the Nets have the chance to reward Johnson with a long-term deal he deserves.

In 25 games with the Nets last season, he averaged (16.6) points, (4.8) rebounds, (2.1) assists, and (1.4) steals. At 27, Johnson is just about to head into the “prime” of his career. He’s proved that he’s a two-way player in the NBA and the Nets are not the only team who want to sign him. The Detroit Pistons have been keeping a close eye on Johnson this offseason.