We’ve been told by two NBA general managers that the Heat has made Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters available in trade talks this summer.
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Zach Lowe: “I’ve heard [the Rockets] have talked to the Heat. The Heat are kicking a lot of tires. I can’t figure out what they’re trying to do, but I could see like Tyler Johnson, same package, same idea: two years of salary left at about the same number. One guy is a better fit [against] the Warriors, one guy’s not [in Ryan Anderson]. Is our first-round pick to a team that is out of future first-round pick good enough?”
And unless something significant changes, it’s increasingly likely the Heat will need to wait until the summer of 2020, not 2019, to again be in position to make a franchise-altering free agent signing. That wasn’t necessarily the plan. The Heat has tried to move Hassan Whiteside and Tyler Johnson this offseason but has not found a trade market, according to three people in contact with the team. Dion Waiters’ name also has been raised, one of these people said.
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.
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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August 14, 2018 | 4:27 am EDT Update
Lamar Odom: My last night in this amazing city! Getting ready for my next chapter in China and closing my last chapter in The Netherlands with my manager @iamzoul Had an amazing time in your hometown Rotterdam and thank you @mr2rchiang for assigning this woman to me that became like the sister I never had. The past two weeks felt great and I worked hard on my conditioning and gaining muscle strength. I have started a new healthy food program and I feel like I already gained back 50% of what I used to be during my glory times. I will continue to work hard and will share with all of you updates of my new journey. I will be back soon Netherlands!! 🧀🇳🇱🌷#teamlamarodom #nextstophongkong #bye @ninetyplusofficial
Odom’s own latest post is also from Hong Kong while people have been posting photographs with him in the city on social media. The 38-year old was in Hong Kong and Shenzhen earlier this summer before deciding to make the move to Shenzhen for a fresh start.
A year out from what could be an enormous 2019 free agency in the NBA, there are rumors about the next potential super-team. Two league sources told Business Insider that there is a buzz about the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler teaming up next summer, with one source saying the chatter is “substantial.” Both sources also said the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two players if they are indeed keen on teaming up.
One source called the summers of 2017 and 2018 “anomalies” in the way those second- or third-tier players struggled to find long-term contracts. There were more players signing deals like Avery Bradley did with the Los Angeles Clippers this year (two years, $24 million) than Will Barton did with the Denver Nuggets (four years, $54 million). The same source believes 2019 could begin a “return to normalcy” for those players. However, several sources also cautioned against the idea of a spending spree akin to 2016. Teams have learned their lessons from some of the massive four-year deals handed out that summer that looked almost immediately regrettable, sources said. It seems unlikely, for example, that we’ll see players like Timofey Mozgov get four-year, $64 million deals.
Mike D’Antoni: “Well, at different points of people’s careers or lives or circumstances, things are different. … In New York, when they gave away half the team (to Denver in the February 2011 trade that brought Anthony to the Knicks) and everybody expected us to win a championship, it really wasn’t realistic. It put a lot of pressure on everybody, and it kind of burst the pipes. I think this is totally different. We’ve got a team that is a whole bunch of veterans that really, we’ve got one thing in mind, and that’s to win a championship, and we have the possibility. We never had a blow-up before, so it’s not he wanted to play a certain way and I kind of wanted to coach another way. “Back then, there wasn’t even analytics. I was going by my gut, and he was going by (his) gut, and it’s just, you know, styles clash. And I think now, things have changed and everybody is playing the same way. I think it’s a lot better fit and I think we have a really good chance to be really good.”