Raptors Sign James Johnson

JULY 17TH: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

JULY 10TH: 10:10am: The deal is fully guaranteed, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link).

8:40am: The Raptors and James Johnson have reached agreement on a two-year deal, reports Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. The value of the contract will be $5MM, according to Smith, though Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun believes it might be for slightly more (Twitter link). The Raptors are using part of their mid-level exception on the Mark Bartelstein client, Wolstat adds in the same tweet.

Johnson revived his NBA career after signing with the Grizzlies in December, proving a useful reserve as he averaged 7.4 points in 18.4 minutes per game. The five-year NBA veteran previously spent parts of two seasons with the Raptors, though that was during the regime of former GM Bryan Colangelo. The 27-year-old spurns the Rockets, who were reportedly set to meet with him earlier this month, as well as the Jazz, who also had interest, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. The Grizzlies had apparently been split on whether to bring him back.

The move largely brings a close to Toronto’s major free agent expenditures, as Smith writes, after previous agreements with Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez. The Raptors wouldn’t mind trying to find a trade partner willing to take on Chuck Hayes or Landry Fields if they could net younger versions of those players in return, but the club probably won’t make any trades until the leaguewide free agency rush passes, Smith writes. The move also likely squeezes out Dwight Buycks, who’s on a non-guaranteed contract, and probably ends any chance that the Raptors would sign Andray Blatche or Ed Davis, according to Smith.

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