Joe Johnson to Heat: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2016

Feb 19, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Joe Johnson (7) drives against New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) and power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Knicks 109-98. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent swingman Joe Johnson has decided on his fifth NBA stop, as Johnson and the Miami Heat have agreed to a deal, according to the team.

Heat owner Micky Arison welcomed Johnson to the team:

Micky Arison @MickyArison

Welcome to #HeatNation Joe @TheJoeJohnson7 Look forward to seeing u and your @MiamiHEAT teammates at MSG tomorrow.

Heat star Dwyane Wade also welcomed Johnson to South Beach, "Welcome to Miami Cool Joe!!!"

Marc Stein of ESPN reported the seven-time All-Star cleared waivers Saturday.

Shams Charania of The Vertical was the first to report the move Friday, and Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com subsequently confirmed it.

According to Stein, the Heat beat out a pair of Eastern Conference rivals in the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers for his services.

Here is a preview of what Johnson will look like when decked out in Miami red, black and white uniforms:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Joe Johnson has committed to sign with Miami Heat after he clears waivers, per @ShamsCharania & @ChrisBHaynes https://t.co/VCNRnckbjF

The 34-year-old reached a buyout agreement with the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. The agreement saw Johnson give up $3 million of his $24.89 million salary, per Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com, citing general manager Sean Marks.

"Thank you to all of the Brooklyn and New York Fans for your support during my time with the @Brooklyn Nets," Johnson said in a statement. "I want to thank the Nets organization and I wish nothing but the best to the team. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career and am excited to bring my talents to a new team."

Immediately, Johnson was linked to a number of playoff teams—most notably the Cavaliers and Hawks. The Hawks offered the draw of comfort; Johnson made six All-Star teams while Atlanta played host to his most extended run of personal success. The Cavaliers are ready-made Finals contenders with a hole to fill on their wing.

In the end, Johnson's choice of Miami makes sense. He was averaging 11.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while playing in obscurity with Brooklyn. Even those averages in the playoffs will help rejuvenate his market value when he becomes a free agent this summer.

While he's clearly not the player who landed a $120 million deal in 2010, Johnson can space the floor, makes heady passes and has more than enough playoff experience. This is a no-brainer addition for the stretch run. 

With a core group of Wade, Luol Deng, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside in place, the Heat now have a great chance to make some noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a veteran and great shooter like Johnson in the fold.


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