Chris Johnson (Dayton)

Chris Johnson Among Four Rockets Cuts

The Rockets have waived Chris Johnson, Isaiah Taylor, Tim Quarterman and George de Paula, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The four cuts slash Houston’s roster down to 15 players in time for the 2017/18 season.

Johnson, the 27-year-old veteran out of Dayton, last suited up for the Jazz back in 2015/16 while point guard Taylor spent time with Houston in 2016/17.

Quarterman on the other hand was acquired by the Rockets in the flurry of trades leading up to the Chris Paul deal and de Paula, the undrafted rookie out of Brazil, has yet to make his NBA debut.

Rockets Sign Chris Johnson

SEPTEMBER 22: Johnson’s deal is now official, per the NBA’s transactions log.

SEPTEMBER 21: The Rockets will sign swingman Chris Johnson tomorrow, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The journeyman’s deal will be partially guaranteed.

Johnson is one of two recent NBA players who share the same name, this one – the younger one at 27 years of age – having played more recently than the other via a 70-game stint with the Jazz in 2015/16.

With Utah, his latest of five brief tenures with NBA franchises,  Johnson averaged 2.9 points in 12.2 minutes per game. He’ll enter camp with the Rockets as their 20th player, a number that includes the reported agreement with Bobby Brown.

Houston already boasts a decent amount of depth at the three, so Johnson will have an uphill battle clawing his way into the mix with Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker and Troy Williams before opening day.

Jazz Waive Chris Johnson

The Jazz have waived forward Chris Johnson, the team announced via press release. The player’s contract was non-guaranteed, so there will be no cap consequences resulting from letting him go.

Johnson appeared in all six preseason games for Utah, averaging 5.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 11.2 minutes. He appeared in 82 games the Jazz over the past two seasons, averaging 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per contest.

Following the move, Utah’s roster now stands at 15 players, which is the regular season maximum.

And-Ones: Benson, Scott, Timberwolves

A judge’s ruling last year that Pelicans owner Tom Benson is mentally competent to run the team has been affirmed by the Louisiana Supreme Count, reports Katherine Sayre of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The higher court refused to hear an appeal Monday by his estranged family members to have the 88-year-old declared incompetent to run his affairs. Those family members have tried to convince the courts that Benson, who also owns the NFL’s Saints, has been unduly influenced by his third wife, Gayle, and a group of Saints executives.

In other news around the league:

  • Former Lakers coach Byron Scott admitted on Dan Patrick’s radio show that he was “a little blindsided” by their decision to let him go after the season (YouTube link). Scott was under the impression he would have “two or three years” to get the team headed in the right direction but added he didn’t have “any ill-will feelings towards the organization.”
  • The Timberwolves have never enjoyed more reason for optimism in the franchise’s history than now, opines Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. They have hired a top-level coach in Tom Thibodeau, possess a wealth of young talent and practice in a new, state-of-the-art facility, Souhan points out. All those factors provide real hope that the team will soon be a powerhouse in the Western Conference, Souhan concludes.
  • Power forward Trevor Booker, center Jeff Withey and small forward Chris Johnson have a cloudy future with the Jazz, writes Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. None of those players has guaranteed contracts for next season and GM Dennis Lindsey strongly hinted that he expects Booker to sign with another team, Sorensen continues. Point guard Shelvin Mack is another player without a guaranteed deal, but the Jazz are expected to retain him on his salary of about $2.433MM.
  • Florida State combo guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes has opted to return to school, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Rathan-Mayes, who was not considered a Top 100 prospect by either ESPN Insider Chad Ford or DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony, decided to test the draft waters in early April.

Jazz Waive Bryce Cotton, Treveon Graham

The Jazz have waived Bryce Cotton and Treveon Graham, the team announced (Twitter link). The moves reduce Utah to 15 players, the regular season limit, ostensibly a sign that Jeff Withey, Chris Johnson and Elijah Millsap will stick around for opening night despite the lack of full guarantees on their respective contracts. Graham has a $75K partial guarantee on his salary, though it’s more surprising to see Utah release Cotton and his non-guaranteed deal, since the move leaves the Jazz with only two healthy point guards.

Cotton totaled 13 points but just one assist against three turnovers in more than 34 minutes of action combined over two preseason games. The 23-year-old was a holdover from last season, when he joined the Jazz on a pair of 10-day contracts and eventually a deal for the rest of the season that included non-guaranteed salaries for 2015/16 and 2016/17. Graham, a 21-year-old swingman, signed a three-year deal with the Jazz in August after going undrafted out of VCU in June. He scored one point in more than 18 minutes of preseason action. The length of their respective deals makes it unlikely a team claims them off waivers, since many teams can’t claim any deal that runs longer than two.

The Jazz have 12 fully guaranteed contracts, as our roster count shows, plus Withey on a $200K partial guarantee. Johnson and Millsap don’t have any guaranteed salary. Utah isn’t obligated to carry more than 13 players for opening night, though most teams keep 15. Still, Johnson and Millsap will be in tenuous position until the leaguewide guarantee date in January. That’s especially so if the Jazz decide they want more depth at the point. Shooting guard Alec Burks seems likely to see time handling the ball in the meantime.

Northwest Notes: Aldridge, Durant, Contracts

LaMarcus Aldridge feels as though the Blazers didn’t always support him the way they do now, as he explains to Michael Lee of The Washington Post. The soon-to-be free agent, who pledged this past summer to re-sign with the Blazers in the offseason ahead, wonders what it would have been like if he felt they were behind him for his entire career, and if the team still finds him expendable on some level.

“œIt’™s bittersweet,” Aldridge said of his ascendance to a superstar level with the Blazers. “œI think God has a plan for everybody. Maybe my plan wasn’™t to be loved right away. My role was a little tougher than other franchise players, but it happens. I think it helped me build character and not take anything for granted. I know that I had to really earn it, so it makes me appreciative. It also makes me wonder how easily they can move on, too.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Kevin Durant recently said perhaps his most encouraging words to date for the Thunder regarding his free agency in 2016, but the matter of which team he’ll sign with remains far from decided, observes Ken Berger of
  • The three year, minimum salary deals that Chris Johnson and Jack Cooley inked with the Jazz contain no guaranteed salaries beyond this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • Tim Frazier‘s two year deal with the Blazers calls for him to make $845,069 for the 2015/16 campaign, and includes no guaranteed salary beyond this season, Pincus tweets.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Jazz Ink Chris Johnson To Multiyear Deal

7:01pm: The deal is official, the team announced. The signing is a multiyear contract, though the exact length has not been announced by the Jazz.

6:32pm: The Jazz intend to ink Chris Johnson for the remainder of the season, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). Johnson’s second 10-day deal with the Bucks expired today and the Milwaukee chose not to sign the forward for the remainder of this campaign. Utah currently has 14 players on its roster, including Jack Cooley, who was signed to a multiyear deal earlier today. The team has waived Ian Clark to accommodate the addition of Johnson. The player was with Utah earlier this season on a single 10-day deal, appearing in two contests.

Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd says the team has no plans to fill Johnson’s vacant roster spot for the time being, Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. The 24-year-old forward appeared in eight contests for Milwaukee, averaging 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game.

Johnson went undrafted out of Dayton back in 2012. He has appeared in a total of 67 NBA games for the Bucks, Grizzlies, Celtics, Sixers, and Jazz. Johnson’s career stats are 5.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.7 assists. His slash line is .391/.325/.836.

Clark, 24, was earning $816,482 for the year, which Utah will be on the hook for the remainder of. His contract was set to expire at season’s end. The guard appeared in 23 contests for the Jazz this season, averaging 1.9 points in 7.0 minutes per game.

Bucks Sign Chris Johnson To Second 10-Day

The Bucks have signed small forward Chris Johnson to a second 10-day contract, the team announced. The move is no surprise, since Bucks coach Jason Kidd said this weekend that a another deal for the 24-year-old was likely. Johnson’s first 10-day contract with Milwaukee expired overnight.

Johnson averaged 20.0 minutes per game in five contests for the Bucks on his initial deal with the team, notching 4.6 points per game. He also saw action with the Jazz on a 10-day contract earlier this year, and he was briefly with the Sixers as the season began after they claimed him off waivers from the Celtics in September.

The signing bumps Milwaukee back up to a full 15-man roster. Johnson and the Bucks would have to commit through season’s end if they want to continue their partnership at the end of their latest deal. Johnson is not to be confused with the three-year veteran NBA center by the same name.

Bucks Likely To Re-Sign Chris Johnson

Bucks coach Jason Kidd expects the team to sign Chris Johnson to a second 10-day contract after the first one expires on Sunday, Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets. Johnson has received steady playing time over the last four games, averaging 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 19.5 minutes.

Johnson has given Kidd another option at the wing positions with Jerryd Bayless and O.J. Mayo nursing injuries. Bayless has missed two games with an ankle sprain while Mayo has been sidelined seven of the last nine games because of a hamstring issue. Milwaukee was already depleted at small forward by the season-ending injury to Jabari Parker in December.

Johnson has bounced around several organizations this season. He spent training camp with the Celtics, who released him just before opening night. He was claimed off waivers by the Sixers and appeared in nine games with them, including two starts, before he was waived again. The Rockets’ D-League affiliate picked him up in December and the Jazz signed him to a 10-day contract in late January. Johnson played two games for Utah but he didn’t receive a second 10-day deal from them.

Bucks Sign Chris Johnson To 10-Day Deal

10:47pm: The deal is official, the team has announced.

9:31am: The Bucks plan to sign guard/forward Chris Johnson to a 10-day deal, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).  Johnson, currently with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League, is on his way to Milwaukee.

Johnson, 24, was waived by the Celtics in September and claimed off waivers soon after by the Sixers.  After some time in the D-League, Johnson returned to the NBA when he got a 10-day deal from the Jazz.  In total, Johnson has seen time in eleven games this season, averaging 6.2 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 20.5 minutes per contest.

For his career, Johnson has averaged 5.9 PPG and 2.3 PPG across parts of three seasons with the Grizzlies, Celtics, Sixers, and Jazz.  Johnson is not to be confused with the three-year NBA veteran center by the same name who recently signed to play in Turkey.

As the Hoops Rumors roster counts show, the Bucks have only 14 players under contract so they will not have to release anyone to make way for Johnson.  Johnson is averaging 20.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists for Rio Grande Valley.