David Goldman/Associated Press
The Houston Rockets have added veteran wing Joe Johnson after the two sides agreed on a deal for the remainder of the season.
The team made the official announcement on Twitter Wednesday:
Houston Rockets @HoustonRockets
OFFICIAL: #Rockets GM Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard/forward Joe Johnson for the remainder of the season. Johnson will wear #7 for the Rockets.
Details » https://t.co/78V6LBIDNl https://t.co/MknYCi4CLC
Troy Williams was waived to make room on the roster.
The 36-year-old spent the first half of the season with the Utah Jazz, averaging 7.3 points per game in 32 appearances. His scoring and 42 percent shooting from the field, are his lowest marks since 2002-03.
He has also only made a career-low 27.4 percent of his three-point shots.
Johnson was then sent to the Sacramento Kings in a three-team deal that netted George Hill and Rodney Hood for Cleveland. He immediately sought a buyout from the Kings, per Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, with the Warriors and Celtics considered top contenders for his services.
The guard eventually committed to signing with the Rockets once they became involved in the sweepstakes, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN discussed the team’s ability to add depth this season:
Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Rockets have added three scoring threats off the bench — Gerald Green, Brandan Wright and Joe Johnson — without making a trade this season. Amazing that Green (13.9 ppg for Houston) was unemployed for 2+ months of season. https://t.co/qLakPvtecQ
Johnson is a seven-time All-Star who averaged at least 20 points per game in five seasons. He ranks 10th all-time—and sixth among active players—with 1,961 made three-pointers. Although he is clearly not the same player he once was, he can provide a scoring boost off the bench in a high-powered offense without having pressure on him to lead an attack.
Having 112 games of playoff experience across 17 NBA seasons should also help as the Rockets attempt to make a deep run in the postseason.
With the Rockets already ranking first in the league in offensive rating, per Basketball Reference, this addition could make the squad even tougher to defend.