Report: Joe Johnson reaches buyout with Kings, will sign with Rockets

By Matthew Cardenas on February 10, 2018
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Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has reported that forward Joe Johnson will sign with the Rockets after reaching a buyout with the Sacramento Kings. Johnson was sent to the Kings in the three team trade that saw Rodney Hood and George Hill go to the Cavaliers with Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder going to the Jazz. Johnson had been with the Jazz since 2016, playing a big part in their playoff run in 2017.
While Johnson is not the player he used to be, the productiveness is still there as a role player. The Rockets are adding another scorer who can create for themselves, hence the nickname "ISO Joe." He tends to enjoy working in the post and mid-range game, which should be no problem. We have seen Mike D'Antoni be okay with Chris Paul taking mid-range shots, which is his bread and butter. Though the system prefers the three ball and Paul is shooting them at a career rate, the mid-range shots are still coming. D'Antoni is smart enough to not take away a player's best attributes, and that will happen with Johnson. It is important to note Johnson played under D'Antoni from 2002-05 with the Phoenix Suns, where he shot 47.8 percent from three in the 04-05 season. Because he already has familiarity with the system, there should be no fit issues.

The Rockets may have become the deepest team in the NBA over the last 24 hours. Bringing in Brandan Wright and now Johnson from the buyout market makes the rotation even longer. Johnson can play at either the three or four, but expect him to be more of a four at this stage of his career. His ability to create for himself will take a little load off of Paul and James Harden. Although he is shooting 27.4 percent from three this season, do not let that be a concern. He will have a plethora of open looks from Harden and Paul penetrating, making life easier for Johnson. He is also someone the Rockets could go to in crunch time, with Johnson having experience as a top option during his days with the Hawks and Nets.

The Rockets recently re-signed Bobby Brown, but are now expected to waive him in order to make roster room. It is now looking like Tarik Black could be the next man out.

It has become clear this Rockets team is all in. Daryl Morey has made all moves necessary to make this team as strong and deep as possible. With many thinking the Rockets are the only team with a true chance to take down the Warriors, these moves could pay off in a few months.

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