Eastern Notes: Johnson, Celtics, Wizards, Sabonis, Walton, Sixers

The Celtics won’t retain veteran guard Joe Johnson past his first 10-day hardship contract, head coach Ime Udoka said, as relayed by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Udoka believes Johnson could still sign another deal in the NBA, but Boston has had players clear the health and safety protocols since signing him. Johnson only appeared in one game, logging just under two minutes and making his only shot attempt.

As Washburn notes (via Twitter), Boston would have to make another roster move or lose additional players to protocols in order to retain Johnson. The 40-year-old now enters free agency as an 18-year NBA veteran, owning 1,397 games of experience between the regular season and playoffs.

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe says not to be surprised if the Wizards kick the tires on Pacers center Domantas Sabonis prior to this season’s trade deadline. Lowe views Washington as a good candidate to make a consolidation trade, since the team has plenty of depth and could use a running mate for Bradley Beal.
  • Pistons guard Derrick Walton is living his hometown dream by playing with the franchise, James Edwards III of The Athletic writes. Walton, 26, is currently on a 10-day hardship deal with the organization.
  • The Sixers appear to be ready to overcome adversity and compete for a championship, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Philadelphia remains firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff picture despite dealing with a series of injuries, COVID-19 cases, and Ben Simmons‘ absence. The team’s ceiling could increase significantly if Simmons returns or is traded for quality pieces.
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