Adrian Wojnarowski (who else) reports:
The Boston Celtics plan to sign swingman Chris Johnson for the rest of the season, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 6, 2014
On the surface, there is really no issue in keeping Johnson: The Celtics will still have an extra roster spot upon his signing, they will not be put in danger of paying any luxury tax, and they will get an energy player that will have a positive influence on a young team.
The real question here is why Danny Ainge decide that the extra roster spot wasn’t necessary as we no move within two weeks of the trade deadline. Ainge is not one to handcuff himself, especially not in this situation. Johnson has done well for the Celtics, but he is, in reality, as expendable as a player can be in this situation.
My initial reaction is that Ainge hasn’t come across a deal that will require two open roster spots or that will be impacted by the $200,000 or so in Johnson’s salary. So any one-for-three or two-for-four types of deals aren’t happening. Those would be the types of big-name + salary for future young talent deals a lot of people have fantasized about that don’t seem to be happening.
Of course, that’s just a guess… and Ainge could always cut someone if a GM surprises him with a spectacular offer. But I think more than signing a good, young player who is busting his ass, Ainge may be signalling that this trade deadline might not bring a blockbuster of a deal.