The Detroit Pistons waived veteran guard Joe Johnson, and he should be a prime, late-season target for the Golden State Warriors.
After being the Most Valuable Player in the Big 3, Joe Johnson opted to go for another run in the NBA. He originally signed with the Detroit Pistons but was waived prior to the start of the regular season. Now, the Golden State Warriors should be at least partially interested.
The Warriors would have nothing to lose. However, they can’t sign him immediately. The Dubs are extremely close to the NBA’s hard cap, entering the 2019-2020 season with three players on a max-value contract and Draymond Green set to make that much next year.
There are only 14 players on the Warriors’ opening day roster. The league’s 15-man max won’t be an issue for Golden State, but later in the season, the Dubs would be able to sign the 17-year veteran.
The reason for that is because the veteran’s minimum is a prorated contract. That means as the season goes on it reduces in overall value to the point in which Golden State would have enough room to bring on the guard for additional backcourt depth.
Johnson’s last stint in the NBA was during the 2017-2018 season. He split the season between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, finishing the season in Houston. During that time, he mainly played the three for the Rockets.
The Warriors, especially given the inevitable injury bug, will need the help. And, while Johnson isn’t the most elite assistance, he’s a veteran that’d likely help create offense and avoid too many bone-headed turnovers.
Johnson, with the Rockets, averaged 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per 36 minutes. That season, in general, he shot just over 40%. While not terrific, Johnson was never known for his high-efficiency shooting.
It may be a long shot that he’s still on the market, but if he is and if he’s still interested in playing, the Warriors should consider signing the 38-year-old.