Photo from Associated Press
Joe Johnson is joining the Miami Heat, according to owner Micky Arison, who confirmed the signing on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
Johnson, who was bought out and waived by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, is a seven-time All-Star and averaging 11.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds and shooting 37.1% on three-pointers this season.
The Heat, were one of several teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, who wanted to sign Johnson for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.
The Heat are 32-25, in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and don’t know if forward Chris Bosh will return this season as he treats complications from a calf injury. Signing Johnson solidifies Miami's push for a top-four seed.
At the trade deadline last week, the Heat traded forward Chris Andersen, forward Jarnell Stokes and guard Brian Roberts, and that move put their team payroll just below the luxury tax amount of $84.74 million.
Not only would the Heat surpass the luxury tax by signing Johnson immediately, they would be a repeater tax team, which includes a higher tax payment for team that is over the luxury tax in at least four out of any five seasons.
A team that is over the luxury tax by as much $4.99 million pays $1.50 for every for every dollar over the tax. A repeater tax team pays $2.50 for every dollar over the tax instead. If the Heat wait until March 10 to sign Johnson, they could avoid going over the luxury tax. Miami could also avoid going over the luxury tax if another team claimed a player the Heat waived.
Shawn Stewart is Host of The Shawn Stewart Show Tues-Thurs 6-8pm est on Sports 4 Fanz Radio.