4:11pm: The signing is official, the Celtics announced (via Twitter).
10:06am: Veteran NBA swingman Joe Johnson is returning to the NBA, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the seven-time All-Star is signing a 10-day contract with the Celtics via a hardship exception.
It’s an unexpected comeback for Johnson, who turned 40 years old in June and hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2017/18 season, when he appeared in 55 games for Utah and Houston. His last NBA contract came in the fall of 2019 — he competed in training camp for the Pistons’ final roster spot, but lost out to Christian Wood.
Johnson, who has won two MVP awards in the BIG3 in recent years, has appeared in 1,276 total regular season NBA games and another 120 postseason contests. He has career averages of 16.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 3.9 APG on .441/.371/.802 shooting, though those numbers fell off significantly in his final season in ’17/18.
The odds are against Johnson turning a 10-day audition into a full-season opportunity on an NBA roster, but it will be good to see him back in the league. He’ll join a Celtics team that currently has seven players in the health and safety protocols. Boston has also signed Justin Jackson and C.J. Miles to 10-day deals within the last week.