Veteran swingman Joe Johnson reportedly “has committed” to signing with the Houston Rockets once the Sacramento Kings buy out his contract, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Per Wojnarowski, the buyout was completed Saturday.
Johnson was dealt to the Kings from the Utah Jazz prior to Thursday’s trade deadline in a three-team deal in which Rodney Hood and George Hill went to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose went to the Jazz and Iman Shumpert went to the Kings.
The 36-year-old Johnson is averaging 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest this season in 32 games. He is shooting 42.0 percent from the field and a career-low 27.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Johnson is a 17-year NBA veteran who has played for the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Jazz. The 2001 first-round draft pick out of Arkansas is a seven-time All-Star, though he hasn’t been selected to the All-Star Game since 2013-14, when he was with the Nets.
Over the past season-and-a-half in Utah, Johnson primarily came off the bench to provide a scoring spark. He is no longer the player who averaged over 20 points per game in five straight seasons with Atlanta, but he can score in bunches when he gets hot.
For his career, Johnson averages 16.2 points per game, and he is 10th in NBA history with 1,961 career three-point field goals made.
Johnson’s biggest asset may be the fact he has played 112 postseason games. The Rockets are well on their way to the playoffs, and they look like the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
If Houston does sign Johnson, he will provide shooting guard depth behind James Harden with Eric Gordon and Gerald Green while also filling in at small forward behind Trevor Ariza with PJ Tucker.