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Joe Johnson Reportedly to Sign with Jazz: Latest Contract Details and Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2016

Miami Heat's Joe Johnson (2) brings the ball up the court against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, April 25, 2016. The Hornets won 89-85. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Veteran playmaker Joe Johnson became a critical player in the Miami Heat’s rotation during the stretch run in 2015-16, but he signed elsewhere on Saturday.  

According to TNT's David Aldridge, the Utah Jazz signed Johnson to a two-year deal worth $22 million. Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune confirmed the deal.

CBS Sports' Zach Harper was among those impressed by Utah's ability to snag Johnson on such a fair contract: 

Zach Harper @talkhoops

Joe Johnson can still play, especially in the role the Jazz will give him. And he’s cheaper than Solo Hill.

Johnson joined the Heat during the season after the Brooklyn Nets bought out his contract. He proceeded to average 13.4 points behind 41.7 percent shooting from downtown in 24 games with Miami and helped lead the team to the postseason, where he scored 12.1 points per game in 14 contests.

Despite his solid numbers, he only shot 28.3 percent from deep in those playoffs and failed to take advantage of the open looks he received when Dwyane Wade created openings by drawing the defense on his drives.

His new team likely hopes his regular-season performance with Miami was more of an indicator of what it will receive moving forward following this deal.

While Johnson was an important piece for Miami, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel pointed to the possibility of Justise Winslow emerging as the starting small forward of the future. He is a blossoming young talent who was the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft, although Winderman did say the Heat could have used Johnson as a shooter if the blood clots that hampered Chris Bosh the last two seasons were still a concern.

Alas, Johnson will join the Jazz with an impressive resume. 

He entered the league when the Boston Celtics drafted him with the 10th overall pick in 2001, and he has played for the Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Nets and Heat. Johnson is best known for his outside shooting and is ninth on the NBA’s all-time list of made three-point field goals with 1,832 in his career.

The career 37.2 percent shooter from three-point range is a seven-time All-Star and averaged double-digit scoring totals the last 13 seasons.

He topped the 20 points-per-game mark five straight years during his prime from 2005 to 2010. He also generated plenty of offense outside of just his perimeter shooting by producing at least five assists per night three different times in his career:

Joe Johnson's Career Per-Game Stats
SeasonTeamGamesPointsAssistsReboundsThree-Point Percentage
2001-02Boston Celtics/Phoenix Suns777.52.33.329.2
2002-03Phoenix Suns829.82.63.236.6
2003-04Phoenix Suns8216.74.44.730.5
2004-05Phoenix Suns8217.13.55.147.8
2005-06Atlanta Hawks8220.26.54.135.6
2006-07Atlanta Hawks57254.44.238.1
2007-08Atlanta Hawks8221.75.84.538.1
2008-09Atlanta Hawks7921.45.84.436
2009-10Atlanta Hawks7621.34.94.636.9
2010-11Atlanta Hawks7218.24.7429.7
2011-12Atlanta Hawks6018.83.93.738.8
2012-13Brooklyn Nets7216.33.5337.5
2013-14Brooklyn Nets7915.82.73.440.1
2014-15Brooklyn Nets8014.43.74.835.9
2015-16Brooklyn Nets/Miami Heat8112.23.93.638.3
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

Despite the gaudy stats, Johnson is 35 years old and is no longer in his prime, but he proved he can be a reliable secondary option at this stage of his career with the Heat.

He is also battle-tested with 101 career playoff games on his resume and can serve his new squad as a veteran presence who understands how to prepare for the postseason during the grinding 82-game schedule. 

Johnson may no longer be the go-to scorer he was as one of the best offensive players in the league when he was younger, but he will provide leadership and important scoring from the outside for a young Jazz team that is ready to blossom. 

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