The Utah Jazz sent Joe Johnson to the Sacramento Kings as part of a three-team trade, but the veteran forward is expected to hit the open market soon.
Per Marc Stein of the New York Times, Johnson will “definitely get his buyout” from the struggling Kings.
Johnson’s contract expires at the conclusion of the season anyway, so Sacramento will not be on the hook for long-term money. Finalizing a buyout will allow the Kings to continue playing their youth and give Johnson a chance to join a contender.
And he should have plenty of options.
The Golden State Warriors need to improve their bench, and Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports reports the reigning NBA champions will pursue Johnson. However, the Boston Celtics — who drafted him in 2001 — are also an early favorite to land the 36-year-old.
Johnson, who has never won an NBA title, should also draw interest from the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.