It’s been quite the last 30 days for Joe Johnson. After winning the BIG3 MVP and leading the Triplets to a championship, it sounds like Johnson will be getting another chance in the NBA.
According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, the Detroit Pistons are “on the verge” of signing Johnson, who worked out with the team earlier this month. However, because the Pistons have 14 guaranteed contracts and four non-guaranteed contracts on their books, they have to waive someone to sign Johnson, and that someone will likely be Michael Beasley.
Detroit Pistons on the verge of signing Joe Johnson, source told @Stadium. Pistons likely to release Michael Beasley to open roster spot.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) September 12, 2019
Shortly after this initial report, Chris Haynes of Yahoo broke word that a deal was done between the Pistons and Johnson and confirmed Beasley was the odd man out.
Detroit Pistons are waiving forward Michael Beasley, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. https://t.co/nCmo09sHo5
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 12, 2019
Johnson dominated the BIG3 and showed he’s still in tremendous shape and is still an elite 1-on-1 scorer. The Pistons could certainly use some offensive creativity, so this seems like a good fit, although some will find it surprising that he is going to a team that isn’t expected to be much more than a fringe playoff team in the East. Johnson will look to have a better year than 2017-18, his last in the NBA, and while an eighth All-Star appearance is unlikely, he can try and show he is still a walking bucket at the NBA level.
Beasley appeared in 26 games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season before being traded to the Clippers at the NBA trade deadline. Through those 26 games, Beasley averaged career-lows in minutes per game (10.7), points per game (7) and 3-point percentage (17.6). Beasley was waived by the Clippers upon arrival and finished the season in the CBA with the Guangdong Tigers.
Beasley had an opportunity to return overseas this season but he reportedly passed up $2.6 million in guaranteed money from a Chinese basketball team for a non-guaranteed contract in Detroit. The 30-year-old forward will surely look to find a new home in the league, but if he ends up getting another look from an NBA team, he’ll be unable to play in the first five games of the season for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.
Beasley never lived up to the hype of being the No. 2 overall pick, but he’s managed t0 play in the NBA for 10 consecutive seasons because of his knack for putting the ball in the basket. We’ll see if he can make it 11 seasons this fall.