Pacers Add Familiar Face With Free Agent Signing

The Indiana Pacers have established themselves as a team to reckon with in the NBA this season, but they aren't done toying with the roster just yet. On Thursday, they brought back a familiar face, signing tough-nosed forward James Johnson.

The 15-year veteran signed a one-year deal with Indiana, returning to the team where he spent the 2022-23 season. He got into just 18 games, starting one, and playing an average of only 9 minutes per night, but his familiarity with head coach Rick Carlisle and the Pacers' style should be seamless.

This is what Carlisle had to say about JJ's impact on the team last season: 

“He’s contributed so much to our situation, just in terms of setting examples, mentoring, being very positive, being very truthful.” Johnson provided leadership for the young team, and they're looking to him to bring the same again this season, as they look to move up the ladder in the Eastern Conference.

For Johnson, the feeling was mutual: “It’s one of the greatest locker rooms I’ve ever seen,” he said about the Pacers. 

Johnson has averaged 7.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in about 20 minutes a night in his 765 career games. 

The Pacers are 5th in the East, at 15-9, and recently played in the first ever In-Season Tournament Final. 

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports