The Nets and Tyler Johnson are going for it.
Despite the punditry that the Heat will match any Nets contract offer, Johnson signed Brooklyn's $50 million offer sheet early Thursday morning...as Adrian Wojnarowski reported at 1:15 a.m.
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 (@WojVerticalNBA) July 7, 2016
The clock on the 72-hour period began when the Heat received the Nets email informing them of the offer. The move came despite the Heat's cap windfall as a result of losing Dwyane Wade to the Bulls ... and Miami calls to Johnson's representatives.
Heat, unsurprisingly, reached out to Tyler Johnson camp tonight. Imagine it will offer more cap-friendly version of deal Johnson has w/Nets.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 7, 2016
The signing sets up a standoff between Pat Riley and Sean Marks. There are differing cap configurations depending on whether the Nets or Heat come away with the 6'4" swingman.
--Under the offer sheet, the Nets would pay Johnson $5.6 million next season, $5.9 in 2017-18; $18.9 million in 2018-19 and $19.6 million in 2019-20 -- but the deal would only count as $12.5 million on the cap, $12.5 million for each of the four years.
--If the Heat match, their cap would reflect the actual amounts paid out, except for this coming season, when the cap hit would be only $1.2 million, the amount of Johnson's qualifying offer. The Miami Herald has reported that . So, it would have been better for Pat Riley if Johnson hadn't signed anything and structured a deal more cap-friendly.
Now, he has a quandary...
If MIA matches, they have an extra $6.9m in space now, but leaves them with $67.3m committed to just 4 players in 18’-19’ ($100m cap).— NBA Cap Analyst (@NBACapAnalyst) July 7, 2016
Complicating the situation is that the future of one of those four players --Chris Bosh-- remains uncertain because of his medical issue. On the other hand, if the Heat does not match, that would mean Miami would have lost Wade, Luol Deng, Joe Johnson and Tyler Johnson without getting anything in return. The Heat did sign Hassan Whiteside to a max deal.
Even if the Heat do match, the Nets will still have a lot of cap space left, mainly the result of their Draft Day trade of Thaddeus Young for the draft rights to Caris LeVert.
Nets’ cap room if Heat don’t sign/match Tyler Johnson: $21.9m— NBA Cap Analyst (@NBACapAnalyst) July 7, 2016
If Heat sign/match TJ offer sheet: $33.8m
The problem is that the number of top-flight free agents diminishes daily.
In interviews conducted before the Wade move, Johnson's mother , Jennifer Johnson, and 16-year-old brother, Logan, spoke about how thrilled and emotional he was when he agreed to the Nets' offer sheet over the weekend.
"We're very humble and he was pretty emotional, feeling pretty sick.," she said. "You know, just like what do you do? Because there were multiple offers on the table and even one that was more than that, but he had to choose what was best for him. So he felt like the Nets was the best choice."
According to multiple sources, the Kings' offer was slightly higher.
Said his brother: "Right after we hung up, I just balled up and cried. It was happy tears. He definitely deserves that. He earned every single bit of it. I'm still shocked."
How much all that emotion played in Johnson's decision is unknown, but Woj reported his desire to play under Kenny Atkinson was a factor.
- Sources: Nets sign Tyler Johnson to $50M offer sheet - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo Sports
- Tyler Johnson cashes in as NBA free agent - Vytas Mazeika - San Jose Mercury News
- Woj: Miami loses Dwyane Wade, but Tyler Johnson still signs Nets' offer sheet - Benny Nadeau - The Brooklyn Game
- Heat formally on the clock with Nets' $50 million offer to Tyler Johnson - Ira Winterman - Sun Sentinel
- Loss of Dwyane Wade leaves Miami Heat searching for answers - Anthony Chiang - Palm Beach Post
- Report: Nets formally sign Tyler Johnson to $50 million offer sheet, Heat have three days to match - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
- Heat’s next high-dollar decision: Tyler Johnson signs Nets’ $50M offer - Bob Hille - Sporting News