Joe Johnson had stated that he was committed to staying with the Brooklyn Nets following failed attempts to trade him at the league deadline. However, that feeling was not mutual between the two sides. The Nets begun negotiations to buyout Johnson's contract and then waived him on Thursday according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Johnson was the second-highest paid player in the NBA making $24.9 million this season. The guard reportedly gave back $3 million in remaining salary to move on from the team as the Nets begin to rebuild with new general manager Sean Marks. Johnson has been averaging 11.8 points on 40.9 percent shooting and will be looking to sign with a contending team for the chance to win a ring at 34. Could the Miami Heat be that team?
The Heat are expected to make a push for Johnson led by Dwyane Wade who wants the guard to sign with the team, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald. There is no denying the Heat could use Johnson or just any healthy body at this point as they try to make a run in the Eastern Conference. Tyler Johnson and Chris Bosh are potentially both out for the season which opens the door for Johnson. Following the trade deadline, the Heat have two open roster spots they need to fill and could use one on the former Nets' star.
The Heat's interest in Johnson comes after uncertainty rises in Bosh. The forward is under pressure from doctors and the team organization to sit the remainder of the season according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Bosh has been dealing with a blood clot in his calf muscle after suffering from one in his lungs last year. Doctors believe it might be too dangerous to let Bosh continue to play while this problem presents itself.
Wade told the media that Bosh has been around the organization taking part in shoot around along with watching film and he is hopeful the issue gets resolved.
"You have to ask him what he wants to do -- that's not my position," Wade said, via ESPN.com. "As a friend of mine, all I care about his how he's feeling in his everyday life. As far as health, he's feeling good. He's been around every day. He's been positive. From there, it's a decision he's going to have to make."
The Heat are contending for the playoffs. However, without Bosh that effort becomes an uphill climb. Johnson could help replace some of the production, but it might not be enough.