NBA Free-Agency Update: Heat beats out Cavs, Hawks for Joe Johnson

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Joe Johnson with the Nets (Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

It didn’t take that long for Joe Johnson to pick his next team. According to Shams Charania of the Vertical, the sweet-shooting veteran winger will be taking his talent to South Beach with the Miami Heat.

The 34-year old Johnson agreed to a buyout with the Brooklyn Nets, giving up $3 million of his salary ($24MM) for an opportunity to play for a playoff contender. He’s expected to clear wavers on Saturday and subsequently sign with the Heat, according to Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald.

However, Bobby Marks of Vertical Yahoo Sports pointed out the acquiring Johnson now would push the Heat back to tax territory. Hoops Rumors also provided the details as to how punitive this move would be for the Heat financial-wise.

Hoops Rumors:

“Miami could work a buyout with another player to avert the tax or waive someone and hope another team claims him, though those scenarios rely on the cooperation of others.

Failing any such tax escape hatch, a minimum-salary deal with Johnson would cost about $125K in taxes, $265K in salary and force the team to miss out on a $2.5MM windfall that would come from the league’s payout to non-tax teams, according to Bobby Marks of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports”

Johnson, who is averaging way below his career averages at 11.8 ppg and 3.9 rpg, drew interest from at least five teams, but reports indicated that it all boiled down to three contenders: the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers, his former team the Atlanta Hawks and the Heat, which will provide him the playing time he seeks.

Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia

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