Story filed to ESPN to go up shortly: Joe Johnson, fresh off an MVP and championship trophy in the BIG3, will travel to Detroit, Milwaukee and Brooklyn for workouts next week to try to get back into the league, sources told ESPN.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) September 2, 2019
The Pistons are not the only team that Johnson is going to work out with; Milwaukee and Brooklyn also have workouts scheduled with the veteran wing, who also had workouts with the Sixers, Nuggets, and Clippers last week. All of those teams are likely to be better than the Pistons next season, which could make them more appealing to Johnson, who doesn’t have much else left to prove in the NBA other than to try to win a title. However, the Pistons can offer what some of those other spots wouldn’t - playing time.
For his part, Johnson is fresh off of winning the MVP of the Big 3, dominating the league populated by players way past their prime, and way longer removed from playing in the league. Johnson came up clutch many times during the Big 3 playoffs, including this game winner in the championship game:
Johnson last played in the NBA during the 2017-2018 season, in which he played for both the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets. He averaged 6.8 points and shot 41 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3 point range. It looked like he didn’t have much left in the tank, but maybe the year off from playing has given him a second wave of energy.
Obviously, playing in the NBA is a little bit different from dominating a bunch of over-the-hill veterans, but it wouldn’t be awful to give him a training camp invite on a veteran’s minimum deal to see what Johnson has left. Even at this age, Johnson can still score the ball, but the workouts will determine if he can do anything else. However, as mentioned, there are plenty of other suitors who would be more appealing than the Pistons if Johnson was only interested in winning an NBA championship.
We will keep you updated if the Pistons end up signing Joe Johnson.