Joe Johnson is 38 years old and hasn’t played a game in the NBA since May of 2018.
The former All-Star is now playing in the Big3, where he is tearing it up in Ice Cube’s summer 3-on-3 basketball league.
In fact, Johnson has played so well that former Boston Celtics player Brian Scalabrine says that he believes Johnson will play at least one game in the NBA in 2019-20.
The current Big 3 commentator said that the league has helped Johnson prove that he still has what it takes to contribute to an NBA roster.
Even further, Scalabrine suggested that free agent Carmelo Anthony could benefit from playing in the Big3 in a similar fashion.
Via The Athletic:
“Joe Johnson will play a game in the NBA next season,” Scalabrine said. “I guarantee it. If he wants to and I think he does he’ll be playing in an NBA game.”
“Joe Johnson would not be in the conversation if he didn’t play in the BIG3,” Scalabrine said. “I want Carmelo Anthony to realize that hanging out with his trainer and playing in these bogus picks-up games is not better than playing in the BIG3.
“If Carmelo was killing the BIG3 it can help him, (but) I think these guys believe it can only hurt them. I think agents think it can only hurt them. But I’m telling you if you’re dominating, the BIG3 you’ll get back in the league.”
Will Johnson or Anthony play in the NBA next year? That’s really up in the air, but it appears that both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have been pushing the Brooklyn Nets to sign the former scoring champion.
Johnson, on the other hand, has played something like 200 additional games in the regular season over Anthony, and is three years older. Injuries and circumstances change things, but the idea that Johnson is going wild in a 3-on-3 league probably won’t impress a lot of smart front offices.
If you’re expecting to see either of these guys on an NBA team this year, it’ll probably be at the end of the season when teams add veterans in time to make playoff rosters.