Report: HEAT not optimistic about moving Tyler Johnson

By HeatDiehards
Jun. 06, 2018

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It's widely expected that the Heat will explore moving the final two years of Tyler Johnson's contract sometime this summer.

Unfortunately, it won't be easy. In addition to making $19.2 million the next two years, Johnson also has a 15 percent trade kicker if he's traded, meaning the Heat will pay 3.2 million and the receiving team will need to add 1.6 million to his cap hit the next two years. Because of this, there isn't much optimism internally that a deal can be done, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Tuesday.

We reported previously that Tyler Johnson’s contract — which will pay him $19.2 million each of the next two seasons — has a 15 percent trade kicker — amounting to $2.9 million — if he’s traded. There isn't much optimism internally about being able to move that contract.

The prime reasons the Heat will explore trading Johnson are:

1) Avoiding the luxury tax if the team resign's Wayne Ellington and/or Dwyane Wade or even uses it's midlevel exception.

2) Trying to open up more salary cap room for 2019 to have a shot at free agents Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Kyrie Irving among others. However, the Heat would still have to move Goran Dragic and/or Hassan Whiteside to offer those players the max.

Miami currently has 10 players under contract for 2018-19 who are due $119 million. This puts the Heat way above the projected $101 million salary cap and closer to the projected $123 million luxury tax line.

Tyler Johnson made $5.8 million this past season on the second year of his $50 million contract, which was backloaded by the Nets in 2016. The final year of the contract is a player option, but it's highly unlikely Johnson would opt out of $19.2 million in 2019-20.