Free agent forward Amir Johnson has reached a verbal agreement for a 1-year, $11-million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Other teams that were interested in Johnson were Toronto, Brooklyn, and Chicago. Johnson’s signing comes hours after the 76ers signed former Clipper, J.J. Redick. Johnson comes over after playing 2 years in Boston.
Redick and Johnson, who both signed on veteran deals, add veteran presence and playoff experience to a young and talented team. Johnson leaves the Celtics after playing in 80 games for the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed, while averaging 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He’s has averaged 7.5 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game over his career. Johnson spent a majority of his career playing with the Toronto Raptors.
Johnson also brings a sense of physical toughness to the Sixers’ up and coming team. He ranks 44th in active players in defensive rating, per Basketball Reference. The 76ers have a gifted front court, and Johnson brings leadership that can help those players grow.
Johnson is entering his 13th season in the NBA. He was the last player to be drafted out of high school by the Detroit Pistons in 2005. He spent the first 4 years of his career with the Pistons before going off to the Raptors for 6 years. Johnson averaged 8.8 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game while playing North of the Border, and then made the playoffs in both of his seasons in Boston.
This move is a low risk, low reward move for the Sixers. By signing him to a one-year deal, they get him as a veteran presence for this upcoming season, but also get the cap space to spend more next offseason. For Johnson, he gets the money he wants, and gets to play for a young and upcoming team. All in all, this is a win-win for both sides, and hopefully Johnson can help bring the 76ers to the playoffs for the first time in 5 seasons.