Joe Johnson may no longer be as young as before but the 7-time All-Star has proven he can still be efficient if given the chance. And there is perhaps nothing better than to make a potential short-term return to the NBA than with the team where it all started.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the 40-year-old swingman has signed a 10-day deal with the Celtics citing sources. He returns to the same team that drafted him 20 years ago and is expected to start that in Boston’s next game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although he remains effective, there is no doubt that Johnson is no longer as fast and athletic as he used to be. Hence, an NBA return against the Cavaliers could be perfect for the 6-foot-7 cager to try and get into the groove of things once more.

The last time he saw action in the NBA was way back in 2018 with the Houston Rockets. In 2019, he signed with the Detroit Pistons but never had a chance to play on the basketball court and was waived about a month later.

The move was hardly surprising in the sense that most NBA teams have been forced to hire short-term players with many cagers ending up grounded by the league’s health and safety protocols due to the rising threat posed by the Omicron variant.

Al Horford, Juan Hernangomez and Grant Williams are the latest Boston players to enter the league’s COVID-19 Health and Safety protocols.

This is the same situation for other teams who have been allowed to hire replacement players in an effort for games to go on. Some games have been forcefully postponed in recent weeks with teams lacking the necessary number of players to suit up for matches.

For free agents like Johnson, it is a short lease on life. However, it is a chance for other players to possibly make it to the league and keep their fingers crossed for better opportunities.

Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics against Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks
Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics against Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks Getty Images | Kevin C. Cox

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