Tyler Johnson has still signed the Brooklyn Nets’ 4-year, 50 million offer sheet, reports The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, despite the Miami Heat losing franchise player and legend, Dwyane Wade.
Sources on @TheVertical: Miami RFA guard Tyler Johnson has signed offer sheet w/ the Brooklyn Nets: 4-years, $50M. Heat has 3 days to match.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 7, 2016
In The Vertical’s expanded coverage of the offer sheet, Wojnarowski writes:
The deal includes $18 million-plus and $19 million, plus “poison pill” provisions in years three and four of the deal designed to severely puncture the Heat’s salary cap and dissuade president Pat Riley from retaining Johnson.
Nevertheless, the departure of All-Star guard Dwyane Wade for a free-agent deal in Chicago late Wednesday could make the Heat more apt to match the sheet and retain Johnson.
For many, this comes as a surprise as the Heat likely were likely to pass on Johnson so long as the foregone conclusion of Wade re-signing with Miami happened. However, now that Wade has left for the Chicago Bulls, the Heat have plenty of cap space to hang on to their D-League graduate — in fact, it was even suggested that general manager Pat Riley would convince Johnson to forgo to the poison pill offer sheet for a standard, balanced contract.
From Albert Nahmad, cap enthusiast:
I’d guess Riley wants to retain Tyler Johnson and will ask him not to sign 4-yr, $50M Nets offer sheet. Direct-signing w/ space preferable.
— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) July 7, 2016
Essentially, it looked as if the Nets might be cut out completely, the awkward third wheel in a two-team transaction, particularly frustrating given the speed at which quality free agents are flying off the market. Of course, now Miami has until July 10th to match the Nets’ offer for Johnson, but with Riley now officially looking towards 2017 and beyond, those ballooning costs in years three and four may convince him otherwise.
If the Nets get Johnson, they’ll add him to an increasingly dynamic backcourt along with recent signee Jeremy Lin. Johnson averaged 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 24 minutes per game in 2015-2016 before hurting his shoulder in January. It appears as if Johnson’s motivation for signing the offer sheet, at least at this point, has to do with his desire to be coached by Kenny Atkinson — a player development master.
Of course, the Nets will no longer have access to this money until the Heat do or don’t match — which means they’ll have slightly under 22 million to work with for the time being. Next up, it would seem, is figuring out whether they should move on from Allen Crabbe and his offer sheet or tie up most of their remaining room on the Portland Trail Blazers’ guard.