It took 20 years, but Joe Johnson is once again a member of the Boston Celtics.
The 40-year old swingman, affectionately known as "ISO Joe," returns to the team that drafted him back in 2002 out of the University of Arkansas.
Johnson isn't the only former NBA name returning to the league. With more than 80 players currently in the COVID-19 protocol, several former stars have returned on 10-day contracts including Isaiah Thomas with the L.A. Lakers, and Lance Stephenson with the Atlanta Hawks.
Now that the league has come to terms on new rules for signing players to help keep rosters full in the midst of a COVID outbreak, the BetSided team of Peter Dewey, Iain MacMillan, Matt De Saro and yours truly submitted our wish list of former players we'd like to return just before the holidays.
You knew I had to go with a former Knick!
Even though Smith has embraced going to college and pursuing a career in golf, I think he’d be an extremely fun player to bring back during the NBA’s COVID-19 outbreak. Joe Johnson ( ISO Joe) is coming back at 40 years old to play, and let’s not forget that Smith played in the NBA’s bubble for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019-20 season.
J.R. is the ultimate microwave shooter/scorer, and while he doesn’t have the bounce that he used to, he’s one of the most entertaining players in recent NBA history.
With all of these teams fielding rosters of fringe NBA players, why don’t we let J.R. getting 10-15 shots off and chuck some deep 3-pointers to see if he can catch fire? I wouldn’t hate LeBron James getting on the phone to reunite J.R. and Carmelo Anthony in Los Angeles, maybe as soon as Christmas Day.
It’s a pipe dream, but we all know J.R. would be electric if given the chance. -- Peter Dewey
In today's world, where everyone seems so divided on almost every topic, there's one man who can bring us together: The White Mamba. It's time to bring Brian Scalabrine back.
Sure, he hasn't played in 10 years, but he can still ball, evidenced by the occasional video that surfaces on social media of him schooling some fool on a basketball court at YMCA's across the country.
Our society needs something we can collectively cheer for, and if you don't want to see Scalabrine back in the NBA, then I don't know if I want to be friends with you. -- Iain MacMillan
Current ESPN analyst and former NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick would make for an intriguing addition on a 10-day COVID contract.
The 15-year NBA veteran last played for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2020-21 season and averaged 4.4 points per game while seeing limited minutes. While his legs aren't as fresh as they once were, Redick is a 3-point specialist who never lost his touch.
His final season in the NBA saw him shoot 39.5 percent from behind the arc and he is a career 41.5 percent shooter from deep. He could actually provide a boost for teams like the 76ers who need a little help from downtown to gain an edge in the short term. -- Matt De Saro
Can Air Canada still lift off at age 44? As of two years ago he was still throwing it down amongst the best in the league!
The scene is set for the perfect return for Vinsanity as the Toronto Raptors just placed their eighth player into the COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday morning, cancelling their matchup tonight vs. the Chicago Bulls.
Toronto returns home on Tuesday, Dec. 28 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Even if it's just for a few minutes, can you imagine the thunderous roar from the crowd when he gets his name called by the public address announcer?
Carter balled out at a very high level from 1998 through 2020 and playing meaningful minutes into his early 40s. What's to say he can't do it again on a up-and-down Raptors squad? -- Ben Heisler
BONUS SUBMISSION: Joakim Noah
I know Noah's knees have been shot for almost a decade, but I still have a pipe dream of seeing him reunite with his head coach at the University of Florida, Billy Donovan for just a few minutes if the opportunity presented itself.
Unfortunately, it appears the Bulls are on the up-and-up with getting players back off the COVID list after being one of the first teams to get hit hard, causing the league to postpone two games last week.
Noah was one of the fixtures of the last fun era of Bulls basketball with an MVP in Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau. To see him pull out the guns from the holsters or attempt his infamous "tornado" shot would bring many a smiles to Chicago this holiday season.