The Heat would like to move Tyler Johnson’s contract, according to an official who has spoken to Miami – but isn’t especially optimistic about it. Miami is comfortable with the 6-6 Richardson continuing to play small forward, because his defensive acumen helps compensate for his height disadvantage at times.
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We reported previously that Tyler Johnson’s contract — which will pay him $19.2 million each of the next two seasons — has a 15 percent trade kicker — amounting to $2.9 million — if he’s traded. There isn’t much optimism internally about being able to move that contract.
The expectation is that the Heat will explore moving the final two years of Tyler Johnson’s contract as early as this summer, but the backloaded nature of his deal isn’t the only reason that it will be difficult to achieve. In addition to making $19.2 million both next season and in 2019-20 (the final two years of his contract), Johnson confirmed he also has a 15 percent salary bonus if he’s traded. The Heat must pay that trade kicker, which would be worth $3.2 million if he’s traded this summer.
But the team trading for Johnson would need to add $1.6 million to his cap hit the next two seasons, putting that annual cap hit at more than $20 million for the team trading for him. He said his agent, Austin Brown, smartly inserted that trade kicker to make it more difficult for a trade to be completed, because Johnson is happy with the Heat. Any attempt to trade Johnson would be driven by two financial motivators: 1. The desire to avoid paying a luxury tax if the Heat re-signs Wayne Ellington, re-signs Dwyane Wade or uses a midlevel exception. 2. To increase the chance of Miami having meaningful salary cap room in 2018 or 2019. Even if Johnson is dealt for an expiring contract, the Heat wouldn’t have much cap room in 2018 unless more salary is purged.
The NBA trade deadline, Heat guard Tyler Johnson admits, has always made him “kind of” nervous. “I think my first couple years I was always on edge,” Johnson said Tuesday after practice. This year’s deadline – Thursday at 3 p.m. – was one he always thought “might present a problem down the road” after he signed a four-year, $50 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets two summers ago the Heat matched to keep him. The way Johnson’s deal was structured by the Nets – to try make the Heat avoid matching it – paid Johnson $5.8 million this second season before jumping to $19.2 million each of the next two seasons. So naturally there’s always been a fear, Johnson said, this would be the time the Heat looked to move him off their books.
But somewhat surprisingly he feels differently now. “I think early on I thought like that, but now I feel like I’m a part of this team,” Tyler Johnson said. “If something happens I would have to be professional about it. But I don’t forsee it happening right now. I also think we know what we’re building here. I feel like there’s a little bit of security in that.”
Brian Lewis: Hearing the #Nets will not be trading DeMarre Carroll to the #Heat for Justice Winslow and Tyler Johnson (whom they’d given a 4-year, $50M offer sheet in the summer of 2016). That doesn’t mean the #Nets won’t listen to other offers for Carroll before Thursday’s 3pm trade deadline. I’m told there is interest around the #NBA.
Tyler Johnson is selling his home? Anthony Chiang: Yes, Tyler has listed his Pinecrest home for sale less than a year after purchasing it. But that doesn’t mean he’s leaving the Heat. There’s a reason for all of this. Tyler and his fiancee planned to have two relatives live with them but the plans changed, as Tyler’s fiancee told the Wall Street Journal ““it’s too big for our family size right now.”
So it’s not likely, without including a draft choice — and Miami can’t trade a first-rounder before the 2024 draft — that Miami can just dump cap space (in the form of, say, Chris Andersen’s contract) on Sacramento. It may need to include a player of some value, and sources say Sacramento has expressed interest in Tyler Johnson, even though Johnson may miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
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June 18, 2018 | 8:53 pm EDT Update
Sagar Trika: When asked if the decision at #1 has been made, McDonough said he’d draw out the suspense for another 72 hours or so. Says they’ve narrowed it down to a tier of five guys (in no order): Marvin Bagley, Luka Dončić, Deandre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Mohamed Bamba.
Sagar Trika: McDonough: Suns are looking at the possibility of acquiring a second lottery pick by trading #16 and other assets. Other assets attached to #16 would be determined by how high in the lottery they could get.
David Hardisty: According to @Adrian Wojnarowski, Chris Paul isn’t focused on his own free agency as much as he is bringing talent to Houston. “Somebody close to (Paul) said to me that he has his focus on recruiting LeBron (to Houston) as anything he’s done in this league.”
Kerem Kanter, the younger brother of former Thunder center Enes Kanter, was in Oklahoma City on Monday as part of a pre-draft workout with the Thunder, according to Kerem’s agent, Hadis Fetic, of Maestro Sports.
June 18, 2018 | 8:19 pm EDT Update
Sagar Trika: Woj: Cleveland would love to package Kevin Love + #8 and get something on draft night, but that package likely won’t get them the star player they’re hoping for. Notes Kevin Love’s value is down and the Brooklyn first round pick is not as good as Cleveland had expected.
Sagar Trika: Woj: LeBron James’s decision won’t be quick and will likely stretch into July. Implication here is that it can’t be an opt-in-and-trade, as the player option deadline is June 29. Keep an eye on what he decides to do at the end of the month (a week from this upcoming Friday).