The Cleveland Cavaliers stole most of the spotlight at the NBA trade deadline by revamping a large portion of their roster, and one of their many moves involved a former Razorback standout. Today, the Houston Rockets (43-13, 2nd in the West) officially signed Joe Johnson.
Johnson was part of a three-team trade that sent point guard George Hill and forward Rodney Hood to the Cavs and Johnson to the Sacramento Kings. Since Johnson is on the back-end of his career, he asked and received a buyout from the Kings in hopes he could land on a squad with championship aspirations.
“Iso Joe” entered the NBA in 2001 when he was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 10th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. In his 17-year career, Johnson has played for seven different teams (Celtics, Suns, Hawks, Nets, Heat, Jazz and now the Rockets). Among active players, Johnson is fourth in games played, second in minutes played (43,729), eighth in scoring (20,266), and sixth in 3-pointers made (1,960; 10th all-time).
Known for his smoothness and skilled isolation game, Johnson has often been referred to as one of the quietest superstars in the league. He has earned over $200,000,000 in his career, including a six-year, $119 million deal from the Atlanta Hawks in 2010. The seven-time All-Star has posted career averages of 16.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
The 6-foot-7 forward donned a Razorback uniform from 1999-2001 under legendary coach Nolan Richardson. As a sophomore, Johnson led the Hogs in points, rebounds and assists, finishing with a 20-11 record (2nd in the West). He averaged 15 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his time at Arkansas. Despite only playing two seasons, Johnson will forever be remembered by Razorback fans.
With this signing, Johnson rejoins Mike D’Antoni who coached him during his time with the Phoenix Suns. Johnson will wear jersey No. 7. The Rockets are only a half game back from the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA.