Remember when the Pistons were signing Michael Beasley to an unguaranteed contract? Well, they found a better option than a 30-year-old coming off a difficult season and facing a five-game suspension.
Detroit will instead sign a 38-year-old who has been dominating a 3-on-3 league for NBA retirees – Joe Johnson.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
A seven-time All-Star, Johnson is a bigger name. But not much should be expected of him anymore. He didn’t even play in the NBA last season.
Still, the Pistons could use another bigger wing. Johnson can still sometimes get buckets. There will be nights Johnson’s scoring would make a difference for Detroit.
Johnson is positioned to compete with Christian Wood for the Pistons’ final regular-season roster spot. Wood, who has an unguaranteed deal, is younger and probably better. But Johnson’s partial guarantee indicates Detroit’s interest in keeping him.
I wonder whether Beasley can still accept his reported $2.6 million-guaranteed offer in China. Not only might the interested team have already moved on, the Chinese Basketball Association is reportedly now barring its teams from signing players facing drug suspensions in other leagues.
If China doesn’t work out for Beasley, there’s always the Big3. As Johnson showed, that might be a pathway back to the NBA.