Journeymen have had a small, but incredibly crucial impact on the NBA for decades. They are role players who are just good enough to consistently have a spot on a roster, but not prolific enough to be given many, if any, long-term contracts by NBA franchises. Essentially, journeymen are the saga of players who never found a home. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), we could also see an increase in the number of NBA journeymen who are jumping from team to team.
Last season, Ish Smith became the “Ultimate Journeyman”, becoming the leader for most NBA franchises played for at 13 teams. His longest tenure came when he was with the Detroit Pistons for three seasons (2016-2019), but aside from the Motor City, Smith has never played more than two straight seasons in the same NBA city.
Luckily, Smith did find himself the best pitstop possible last season when he was traded to the Denver Nuggets in the Kentavious Caldwell-Pope deal. Ish Smith only appeared in 43 games for Denver, averaging 2.5 PPG and 2.3 APG in 9.3 MPG, but was still a good mentor and depth option for a team that won the NBA championship.
Looking back at the 2022-2023 All-NBA Journeyman Team, there will be some new role players joining the team, since Ish Smith and James Johnson are both still unsigned entering the season. Despite this, there will also be a few familiar faces from last year’s team. This begs the question; which players will represent the 2023-2024 All-NBA Journeyman Team?