Milwaukee Bucks Rumors: Working out free agent Joe Johnson

(DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
(DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have a vacant roster spot remaining, though it remains to be seen when they fill it out their 15-man roster.

That hasn’t stopped speculation since making their acquisition of P.J. Tucker before last month’s trade deadline as well as picking up veteran point guard Jeff Teague. While the bulk of that attention has revolved around Austin Rivers, who still remains a free agent as of this writing, another name has entered the mix.

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According to a recent report from HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, the Bucks have scheduled a workout with veteran forward Joe Johnson this week.

Having last played in the NBA with the Houston Rockets during the 2017-18 season, Johnson has been hard at work in terms of an NBA comeback in the years since he was last in action.

That work has been seen in Johnson’s play in the Big3, the 3-on-3 league owned by Ice Cube, that saw him win the 2019 Big3 MVP. That subsequently led to Johnson reportedly getting a look from the Bucks before joining the Detroit Pistons for their training camp at the start of the 2019-20 season.

More recently, Johnson has played in The Basketball Tournament last summer and suited for Team USA during their AmeriCup qualifiers earlier this year.

The Milwaukee Bucks are pressed financially to fill their remaining roster spot

While Johnson has certainly shown that he has something left in the tank, we shouldn’t expect the Bucks to sign the 39-year-old or anyone for that matter anytime soon.

As I preciously covered here in more detail, the Bucks are $737,439 below the luxury tax line and that little financial flexibility is made more complicated by the contract incentives included in Jrue Holiday’s contract. Whether he ultimately achieves those bonuses remains to be seen, but the Bucks would get that much closer to entering the luxury tax if they were to sign a player now before seeing whether Holiday’s bonuses are triggered.

While we wait to see what happens on that front, the Bucks have until the last day of the regular season to sign a player and players that were bought out of their contract by last Friday will still be eligibly to play in the playoffs. In this case, Johnson will be playoff eligible as he hadn’t played with a team this season.

This is the second instance of a recent workout held by the Bucks being reported on as well. Late last month saw the report of the Bucks working out former Bucks player Brandon Knight as he continues his own NBA comeback.

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While this is certainly an example of Johnson keeping his NBA comeback alive with the Bucks emerging as a team of interest, it will be a while until we likely see the Bucks fill out their 15-man roster. We’ll keep up with the latest reports and rumors towards the activity in the meantime.