The Brooklyn Nets are waiting, and waiting, for a decision from the Miami Heat on whether or not they will match the Nets offer to restricted free agent Tyler Johnson. The deal, a 4-year deal, said to be around $70 million with a rough, "poison pill" backend that would pay Johnson near $40 million for the final two years of the contract, is a difficult one.
But did it become more difficult or easier. It's complicated and it depends on which Twitter feed you'rr following It started with the Heat giving Wayne Ellington, a former member of the Nets, a two-year, $12 million deal. The second year is a team option.
What does that have to do with anything? Well...
Free agent guard Wayne Ellington has agreed to a two-year, $12M-plus deal with the Miami Heat, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 10, 2016
Which certainly makes it appear no match on Tyler Johnson. https://t.co/O5juz1P62a— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 10, 2016
Looks like Heat cap space will go to Ellington and Derrick Williams, with question of whether cap space or $2.9M exception for Haslem.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 10, 2016
Later, the Heat signed James Johnson, the 6'9" forward from Toronto and are closing on Udonis Haslem.
That would sound like a good thing, but it may not be. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald explains...
If the Heat uses all its remaining cap space by tonight (and it's close), Johnson's cap hit would be $1.2 million this coming season. Otherwise, as heathoops.com's Albert Nahmad noted, Johnson's cap hit would be $5.6 million in 2016-17.
But matching the Nets' offer for Johnson would incur $18 million and $19 million cap hits in years three and four of the deal. That would be onerous for a team seeking flexibility to pursue elite players in free agency.
To be clear...
Here is why the Heat signing these future ex-Heat players seems to mean they might be matching TJ RE https://t.co/weeX8ZiMzb— Ryan Yousefi (@Rizzmigizz) July 10, 2016
Plenty of time left. They have until 11:59 p.m. Jackson tweeted this at around 11:36 a.m.
Heat, by the way, had not informed Tyler Johnson camp, as of 15 minutes ago, whether matching Nets' offer. Have until tonight.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 10, 2016
So, nothing certain, but it looks like the Heat are spending money as if they aren't going to be matching on Tyler Johnson.
But, for now, we wait ... again.