The Nets have bought-out Joe Johnson’s contract, according to a report by ESPN’s Mark Stein. Johnson has 48 hours to clear waivers, at which point he will then become a free agent, and have the ability to sign with any team.
According the ESPN, the Celtics, Rockets Heat, Raptors, Thunder, Cavaliers, and Hawks have expressed interest in signing the seven-time all star.
Johnson, who is now 34-years-old, signed a six-year, $124 million max contract with the Atlanta Hawks in 2010, before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2012 for five players and several draft picks. Johnson is in the final year of his deal, where he is slated to make $24.89 million.
On the surface, the reported interest from the Celtics doesn't make much sense. Boston's lineup is extremely guard-heavy, and Joe Johnson adds another name to a group that already doesn't have enough minutes to go around.
But if you dig deeper, Johnson would bring some value to a young, inexperienced group. Johnson is a seasoned veteran, one who has been apart of quite a few postseason series. With the Celtics currently slotted in the top half of the Eastern Conference's playoff standings, the team could use a guy with some big game experience.
As sad as it sounds, Johnson would also greatly improve the team's three-point shooting. At this point in the season, the Celtics are shooting 33.6% from beyond the arch as a team. This season for the Brooklyn Nets, Johnson is hitting three-point shots at a 37.1% clip. The Celtics currently shooting better from deep than Johnson are Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko, and Avery Bradley.
Joe Johnson might not be the same player he was just a few years ago, but he does have something to add to a playoff team. The Celtics need a veteran presence and could benefit from adding another shooter to the roster, and Johnson fills both of those needs.
By Pete Packowski and Jacob Young
@Pete_BBS and @IMissPaulPierce