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Pacers sign 13-year NBA veteran James Johnson

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Updated 2 weeks ago on
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Pacers sign 13-year NBA veteran James Johnson
USA Today Network
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The Indiana Pacers have signed free agent forward James Johnson, according to team beat writer Scott Agness. The 13-year NBA veteran last played for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2021-22 season.

Last season, in 62 appearances with the Nets, the wing averaged 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Also, Johnson shot 46.9% from the field and 27.1% from 3-point range.

He was waived by the Nets on April 7, 2022.

Through 747 career games, the forward has averaged 7.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per contest. Johnson should help the Pacers improve their frontcourt next season.

He was selected 16th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2009 NBA Draft. In his rookie 2009-10 season, Johnson averaged 3.9 points and 2 rebounds per game in 65 appearances.

On February 22, 2011, the Bulls traded Johnson to the Toronto Raptors for a 2011 first-round draft pick. Following the 2010-11 season, the Raptors traded the forward to the Sacramento Kings for a 2014 second-round draft pick.

After the 2012-13 season with the Kings, the Wake Forest product went on to sign as a free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies. During the 2014 offseason, the wing returned to the Raptors on a multi-year deal.

Pacers sign 13-year NBA veteran James Johnson

However, he then went on to sign a one-year contract with the Miami Heat on July 10, 2016. In 76 games played with the Heat during the 2016-17 season, Johnson averaged career highs 12.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

During the 2017 offseason, the forward signed a multi-year deal with Miami.

On February 6, 2020, the Heat traded Johnson to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In just 14 games played with Minnesota, he averaged 12 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks per contest.

Then, the Timberwolves traded Johnson, Aleksej Pokusevski, and a 2024 second-round draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder. A week later, the Thunder dealt the wing to the Dallas Mavericks.

In 29 appearances with the Mavericks, the forward averaged 5.7 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.

Additionally, along with cash, Wesley Iwundu, and a 2021 second-round draft pick, the Mavericks traded Johnson to the New Orleans Pelicans.

While the terms of Johnson’s deal with the Pacers are unknown, this is likely for a veteran-minimum contract. The forward can still contribute off the bench.

Not to mention, the 35-year-old is an accurate mid-range shooter. James Johnson will serve as a terrific mentor for younger stars, such as Tyrese Haliburton. For that reason alone, this is a pretty good signing for the Pacers. It’s low risk, high reward.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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