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Report: Joe Johnson commits to signing with Rockets after buyout

Joe Johnson

The Houston Rockets will add a major presence of veteran shooting, as forward Joe Johnson has committed to signing with the team now that his buyout with the Sacramento Kings has been completed, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Johnson will sign for the prorated minimum exception, which would keep the Rockets under the luxury cap, and make this the second time Johnson has been bought out of his contract in the last three seasons, according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks.

The Rockets had been rumored to be one of the heavy hitters in this buyout market, looking for 3-point shooters and defenders to surround their All-Star backcourt with. Johnson was rumored to be willing to sign with the Rockets, as Wojnarowski’s colleague Brian Windhorst said on the set of The Jump.

Johnson had very little playing time this season with the Utah Jazz, seeing a reduced role after the departure of Gordon Hayward this offseason and a tough injury situation that kept him sidelined for 21 straight games before returning to a more established rotation.

The Jazz traded him as part of a 3-team swap with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Kings, landing in Sacramento, but knowingly only as a stopping waypoint until contractual matters could be solved.

The struggling sharpshooter will join the second-best team in the league and one that is clipping the heels of the defending champions Golden State Warriors, sitting only a half game away from the league leaders.

Johnson has been scuffing from the floor this season, shooting only 42 percent from the floor, but his 3-point acumen is what has suffered the most, shooting only 27.4 percent from deep this season, by far the worst since his rookie season (27.3 percent from deep).

The 36-year-old could greatly benefit from Mike D’Antoni’s spread out offense, giving him plenty of opportunities to spot up from three with eyes often on James Harden and Chris Paul, as well as plenty of opportunities to create his own shot in the open floor — a craft he’s mastered through his 17-year career.