The Miami Heat have matched the Brooklyn Nets' four-year, $50 million offer sheet for guard Tyler Johnson, as first reported by to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. Johnson, 24, might end up starting in the backcourt next season now that Dwyane Wade is a member of the Chicago Bulls.
"We are extremely happy to re-sign Tyler," Miami president Pat Riley said in a statement. "He, Hassan [Whiteside], Justise [Winslow] and Josh [Richardson] have grown together as an exciting, athletic, highly skilled young core over the last couple of years. They are going to have a tremendous opportunity this season and we are looking forward to watching them play together on the floor."
With Wade moving on and Chris Bosh's status up in the air, the Heat are in a strange place. They might be forced into rebuilding, and if that's where they're headed, then they will want as many young, improving players as possible. Johnson fits that description, and while he has only played 68 games in the NBA, he has shown elite athleticism and a reliable 3-point shot. Miami would surely have preferred to re-sign Johnson to a less lucrative deal, but this is better than losing him for nothing.
It has been a rather eventful day for the Heat, who also officially acquired forward Luke Babbitt from the New Orleans Pelicans and signed forward James Johnson, guard Wayne Ellington and forward Derrick Williams. Miami also reportedly reached agreements to re-sign veteran Udonis Haslem and sign big man Willie Reed.
Here's what the roster looks like:
PG: Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Briante Weber
SG: Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder
SF: Justise Winslow, James Johnson
PF: Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, Derrick Williams
C: Hassan Whiteside, Willie Reed, Udonis Haslem
That's a pretty weird group, and if Bosh can't come back, it's not necessarily a playoff team. It will be interesting, though, to see how Johnson, Whiteside and Winslow produce when given more responsibility on offense.
For the Nets, this has been a pretty rough day. They also had an offer sheet out there for guard Allen Crabbe, but the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly decided to match it. If Brooklyn wants to find backcourt help, its options are now extremely limited.