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Tyler Johnson was confident he would return to Nets

Newly acquired Tyler Johnson at Brooklyn Nets practice

Newly acquired Tyler Johnson at Brooklyn Nets practice inside the NBA "bubble" in Orlando, Florida, in mid-July 2020. Credit: Brooklyn Nets/Brooklyn Nets

Until the Nets signed Tyler Johnson just before training camp opened on Tuesday, his status with the organization appeared uncertain despite a strong performance with them during the NBA restart last summer in Orlando. But Johnson knew better.

"I didn’t know I was supposed to be worried," Johnson said in a video conference with reporters on Wednesday following individual workouts.

Before the Nets signed Johnson, they added guards Landry Shamet and Bruce Brown in trades to go with veterans Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. So, playing time might be scarce with six quality guards.

But Nets general manager Sean Marks always has been a fan of Johnson since signing him to a four-year, $50-million offer sheet in 2016 that was matched by the Heat. Johnson said he received assurances from Marks that he would be back this season before joining the Nets as a free agent last June. He shot 39.1% from three-point range in 12 games in the bubble.

"Before I signed in the bubble, there was an opportunity to re-sign for this upcoming season, and so, Sean’s been completely transparent. He’s been great at keeping me informed on the situation, and it’s been like that since he offered me that initial contract. It’s very rare to have somebody who keeps you up-to-date and filled in on the situation. He’s done a great job, and I’m very appreciative of it."

Johnson had other offers, but the opportunity to play with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on a potential NBA title contender was too good to pass up.

"It’s very rare to be in a situation where you have a team that wants you that’s going to be putting themselves in a position to compete for a championship," Johnson said. "That’s what I wanted to be a part of. How that evolves for me moving forward, we’ll see. But being around great players raises your level. That’s what I wanted to be around."

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