NBA Rumors: Pistons 'On the Verge' of Joe Johnson Signing

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Joe Johnson #1 of the Triplets reacts after making the final basket to win the BIG3 Championship over the Killer 3s at Staples Center on September 01, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/BIG3 via Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons reportedly have the inside track on adding veteran wingman Joe Johnson.

On Thursday, Jeff Goodman of The Athletic reported the Pistons are "on the verge" of landing Johnson, adding the team would likely release Michael Beasley in a corresponding move.

Goodman's report comes after Frank Isola of The Athletic said the Pistons were favorites to land Johnson during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Wednesday (h/t Noah Coslov).

Johnson has not played in the NBA since he was a member of the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz during the 2017-18 campaign.

The Pistons have reportedly been in on Johnson for some time, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN noted they were one of three teams he worked out with on Sept. 2. He also worked out with the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets.

On the one hand, Johnson is 38 years old and wouldn't be the same version of himself who made seven All-Star Games (the last in 2014) and averaged as many as 25.0 points per game in 2006-07 on the Atlanta Hawks. On the other hand, he impressed during BIG3 play and won the league MVP before leading the Triplets to a championship in their first season.

The 6'7", 240-pound forward wouldn't be asked to shoulder many of the offensive responsibilities in Detroit and would likely look to take advantage of open shooting windows created by playing alongside Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond in the frontcourt.

Johnson shot just 27.6 percent from three-point range in his most recent NBA season but isn't far removed from his 41.1 percent mark in 2016-17 as a member of the Jazz.

That type of shooting—and the play that was on display in the BIG3—could help the Pistons battle for positioning in the Eastern Conference playoff picture after they were swept by the Bucks in the first round last season.

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