Joe Johnson’s fairy tale return to the NBA has come to an end. The 38-year-old got a big break when he was signed to a non-guaranteed deal last September. Unfortunately, the Pistons chose to go a different path. Instead, they opted to focus on Christian Wood and Khyri Thomas.

League sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that the Pistons opted to waive Johnson for Wood and Thomas. As of this writing, there is no word on what lies ahead for the 38-year-old cager. Two other teams checked out Johnson. These were the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets, Sports Illustrated reported. It remains to be seen if either team will give him a second look.

A big possibility is to see the seven-time NBA All-Star back in the Big 3. He is the reigning 2019 MVP and was the tournament’s leading scorer with 21.9 points per game.

At 38, the best Johnson can hope for is a bench role. A veteran’s minimum is likely to be offered. However, playing time is a big question mark. With most teams focusing on the development of young players, Johnson is likely to end up mentoring promising young stars.

Johnson owns averaged 16 points per game over his career. During the 2017-18 season, his numbers dipped to 6.8 points and 1.5 assists per game in 55 games. He started the season with the Utah Jazz where he played 32 games. He then moved to the Houston Rockets where he played 23 games.

Opting to go with Woods should be interesting for the Pistons. In the preseason, the 24-year-old center-forward averaged 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. Pundits feel that his 6-foot-10 frame is what earned him the nod.

Waiving Johnson also allowed the Pistons to keep Kyri Thomas. The 38th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft hardly made an impact last season. But it appears head coach Dwane Casey plans to use him as a defensive stopper. Thomas is a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2017 and 2018).

The Detroit Pistons open their NBA regular-season schedule on Oct. 23. They will visit the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Live Fieldhouse in Indianapolis with tip-off set at 7 p.m. EDT.

Joe Johnson
LeBron James and Joe Johnson #1 of the Triplets celebrate after the Triplets defeated the Killer 3s to win the BIG3 Championship at Staples Center on September 01, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/BIG3 via Getty Images