Brooklyn Nets: Can Cam Johnson Return to 2023 Form?

The 28-year-old appeared poised to take the next step in his development last season.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off the blockbuster trade of Kevin Durant at the 2023 trade deadline, the haul the Brooklyn Nets received finished the season in promising fashion. Mikal Bridges looked primed to become the franchise's next star, and Cameron Johnson appeared to be Brooklyn's future stretch-4.

Nearly a month after the swap, Johnson tallied 33 points on 13-18 shooting in a 142-118 loss to the New York Knicks. Despite the lopsided scoreboard, Johnson's performance displayed his potential as an elite-level scorer next to Bridges. He finished the season averaging 16.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, creating optimism for his first full season in Brooklyn.

The 2023-24 campaign did not ultimately serve as Johnson's stepping stone into stardom, falling back to the same 13-and-4 nightly numbers he posted in Phoenix. This past season was a disaster for the Nets as a whole, so the dip in performance is somewhat excusable.

If Johnson can get back to the level he was playing in the latter part of the 2022-23 season, he will surely be a major part of the Nets future plans. If head coach Jordi Fernandez's "development first" ideology does not rub off on Johnson the same way it may others, the former 11th overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft could find himself shipped out in Brooklyn's inevitable blockbuster trade attempt.

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Kyler Fox