Pistons waive Joe Johnson for youth development

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The Detroit Pistons waived Joe Johnson on Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. Johnson was in an two-man competition for the team’s final roster spot, which had to be finalized by 5 p.m.

Pistons waive reigning BIG3 MVP

The seven-time all-star signed a contract with the Pistons last month. The deal was worth $2.6 million with $220,000 guaranteed, according to ESPN. It would have been fully guaranteed if he stayed on the roster past Jan. 7.

He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2017-18 season, which he spent with his mother during her fight with cancer. She died in February 2019. He spent last year in the BIG3, where he earned the MVP award and league title playing with Triplets. The 17-year NBA veteran has played for the Boston Celtics, who drafted him with the 10th overall pick in 2001, Phoenix Sun, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat.

He averaged 16 points per game over his career. He had a career-low 6.8 points and 1.5 assists per game over 55 games with the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz in 2017-2018.

Johnson, 38, experienced swelling in his Achilles but was responding well to treatment, per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

Pistons keep Christian Wood

In releasing Johnson, the Pistons are giving a shot to fourth-year veteran Christian Wood. The 6-foot-10 power forward averaged averaging 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in the preseason and his size will be a needed asset for Detroit.

He told the Detroit Free Press on Friday:

“I showed [Pistons head coach Dwane] Casey everything he needed to see and then some more. I think did everything 110% and whatever decision they make, I’m going to be happy with it because I know I played hard.”

Per the Free Press, Wood will get $822,679 for being on the opening day roster. The Pistons start the season Wednesday. If he stays on the roster past Jan. 10, he’ll receive a full $1.6 million and if he’s there

The Pistons are also showing confidence in Khyri Thomas, their 38th overall pick in the 2018 draft. Thomas played in 26 games last season averaging 2.3 points in 7.5 minutes per game. Casey has stressed he will be a part of the core moving forward.

The Pistons are trying to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since an eight-year run from 2002-09.

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