Veteran guard Joe Johnson has agreed to a two-year, $22 million contract with the Utah Jazz, reports David Aldridge of TNT. The shooting guard is returning for his 15th NBA season after the conclusion of the monster deal he signed with Atlanta in 2010.
Johnson was one of the NBA's highest paid players in recent years, but his contract was long considered one of the biggest overpays in recent memory. He got traded to the Nets in 2012 and declined significantly over the life of the max contract, eventually getting waived by Brooklyn last season.
After leaving the Nets, Johnson signed with the Heat just days later and became a useful contributor through the team's run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The 35-year-old averaged 12.2 points, 3.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 81 regular season games between Brooklyn and Miami.
While Johnson is no longer in his prime, he showed in Miami that he can still space the floor and be a valuable piece. He's 6'7 and that length won't go anywhere, so even as he loses a step, he's got a little extra height to rise over defenders compared to shorter perimeter players. He took nearly four three-pointers per game last season and hit over 38 percent of them.
Johnson should be a nice bench scorer and veteran presence for a Jazz team that looks suddenly formidable. Johnson is the second major addition Utah has made to the backcourt this offseason, joining point guard George Hill, who was acquired in a three-team trade with the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. Utah won 40 games in an injury plagued season a year ago. If they stay healthy, don't be surprised if they're a major sleeper in the Western Conference.