The Miami Heat has apparently given up on their plan in adding free-agent shooter Ray Allen this season, as they are now setting their sight on Joe Johnson, who could be available in the free-agency market if he decides to buy out of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets.
According to Miami Herald writer Ethan Skolnick, all eyes will be on the Heat as an aggressive suitor for the 34-year old Johnson if he decides to part ways with the Nets via buy-out.
Johnson, averaging 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists, is in the final year of his contract that pays him roughly $25 million.
However, the Nets are nowhere near contention for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and he’s obviously not going to be part of the team’s future plans.
“Joe Johnson would stir the interest of the Heat if he buys his way off the Nets, Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald hear,” via Hoops Rumors.
The Heat is desperately looking for depth at the wing position following a shoulder injury to combo guard Tyler Johnson.
And while Johnson is shooting a career-low 39% from the field this year, he is still expected to draw massive interest from multiple teams largely because of his reputation as a deadly outside shooter (37 percent career 3-pts shooter).
Johnson recently addressed that he won’t rule out the possibility of buying out of his contract. He even mentioned about picking a winning team when he hits the market this summer.
“A winning situation. It’s not going to be to no highest bidder or nothing like that, I just want to make sure the situation’s right for me,” Johnson said via Hoops Rumors.
After missing the postseason last year, the Heat (28-22) are in the hunt for one of the top four spots in the East. All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have kept themselves healthy so far, while big man Hassan Whiteside continues his outstanding play from last year.
Many analysts believe the Heat, if everyone is healthy, has the materials to upend the Cleveland Cavaliers if the two teams cross path in the playoffs.
The Heat has a standing offer for Ray Allen to make an NBA comeback, but their interest in bringing him back has apparently dwindled because of Johnson’s possible availability in the post-buyout market.