Utah Jazz Agree to Deal With Joe Johnson

The Utah Jazz made a surprising but beneficial move by coming to a two-year agreement with free agent veteran Joe Johnson.

Just when it seemed the Utah Jazz were going to come out of Day One of free agency empty-handed, an unexpected report surfaced that the Jazz had come to an agreement with veteran Joe Johnson, who most recently played with the Miami Heat.

Johnson has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $22 million deal with the Jazz. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound veteran will be entering his 16th NBA season and has qualified for seven All-Star games throughout his career, with six of those appearances coming as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

May 15, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Miami Heat forward Joe Johnson (2) handles the ball as Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo (8) tries to defend during the second quarter in game seven of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

For his career, Johnson averages 16.9 points, 4.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game on 44.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.2 percent from deep. In 24 games with the Miami Heat last year, Johnson posted impressive numbers of 41.7 percent from behind the arc and 56.9 percent on two-pointers.

With such an impressive resume over the duration of his career, Johnson is one of the most illustrious players that the Jazz have added in free agency in recent history.

Normally considered a small forward, Johnson logged significant minutes at the four spot with Miami and he will likely fill a similar role for the Jazz. His large frame and quickness certainly allow him to do so effectively.

Johnson will most likely come off the bench as a backup for Gordon Hayward or as a stretch-four behind Derrick Favors. As such, he will significantly boost the Jazz’s depth and experience.

Although the Jazz had been mentioned several times in connection with free agents Solomon Hill and Jared Dudley, once both of them had signed with the Pelicans and Suns respectively, it appeared that the Jazz would end the night without any new additions.

But GM Dennis Lindsey and Jazz brass instead shocked Jazz Nation with an incredible and applaudable pick-up coming at (almost) the midnight hour. With the addition of Joe Johnson, along with the earlier trade to bring in George Hill, Utah has added significant veteran leadership and talent to a formerly young squad.

As Craig Bolerjack would say, buckle up, Jazz fans. Next year is going to be fun.

Be sure to check in frequently to The J Notes for more updates on Joe Johnson and Utah Jazz free agency.

All stats courtesy of basketball-reference.com

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