NBA Rumors: Miami Heat Make Several Moves, Expected To Sign Wayne Ellington And Trade For Luke Babbitt

The Miami Heat were very busy on Sunday.

Miami entered Sunday with just nine players under contract after signing free agent forward Derrick Williams to a one-year deal on July 8. However, the Heat added six players to the roster yesterday.

Miami started its spending spree by agreeing to a deal with Wayne Ellington on a two-year deal worth over $12 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical.


Ellington struggled last year, though he is known as a sharpshooter with a relatively well-rounded game overall. The 28-year-old averaged 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 21.3 minutes a game over 76 contests with Brooklyn last year. He shot 38.9 percent from the floor and 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Ellington is entering his eighth NBA season, and the Heat will be the seventh different team he has played for – Minnesota, Cleveland, Memphis, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers, in addition to the Nets. He has averaged 7.1 points and 2.1 rebounds while shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc for his career.

The next move Brooklyn made was to sign free agent James Johnson to a one-year pact, per Marc Stein of ESPN. The 29-year-old will make $4 million this upcoming season.


Johnson spent the last two seasons with the Toronto Raptors, averaging 5.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 57 games last season. He shot 47.5 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-9 forward has also played for the Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, and Memphis Grizzlies.

Johnson is a combo forward known for his defense and athleticism. He is at his best around the rim, though he will occasionally stretch the floor with a shot from beyond the arc. Johnson averaged 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 47.6 percent from the floor for his career.

Miami then re-signed Udonis Haslem. Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald reported that Haslem’s deal is for one-year and worth $4 million. Skolnick added that the 36-year-old expects to play another season after this year.


Haslem, who has been with the Heat since 2003, appeared in 37 games last season. The 6-foot-8, power forward has been counted on being more of mentor in recent seasons, produced 1.6 points and 2.0 caroms while shooting 37.7 percent from the field.


Miami also signed Willie Reed, traded for Luke Babbitt and matched the Nets offer for restricted free agent Tyler Johnson.

Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweeted that Reed has agreed to a two-year, minimum contract. The 26-year-old made his NBA debut with Brooklyn this season, averaging 4.7 points along with 3.1 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field in 37 games.

Reed had been a long-time standout in the D-League before finally getting a chance with the Nets. He is an athletic big, who is a very good rebounder – particularly on the offensive end. Reed is also a shot-blocker and an excellent finisher around the rim though he has limited range.

Miami acquired Babbitt from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a 2018 second-round choice that the Heat had previously received from the Pelicans. Babbitt, a 6-foot-9 small forward, appeared in 47 games last year. He averaged 7.0 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from beyond the arc.


Babbitt is a real three-point weapon. The 27-year-old shot 51.3 percent from beyond the arc in 2014-15 and is a career 40.3 percent from long distance. He also has played for Portland in his career.

The Heat’s last move of the night was to match the $50 million, four-year offer sheet for Johnson. Johnson will receive $5.628 million in the first year, $5.881 in year two, followed by $18.858 million in Season 3 and $19.631 in Season 4.


Johnson, 24, played in just 36 regular season games, though he returned from his injuries in time for the playoffs, where he made five appearances. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 8.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and 38.0 percent from the three-point line during the regular season.

Johnson is fast and very athletic. He is a good rebounder and his jumper is still improving.

Johnson has appeared in 68 games over two years with the Heat. He averages 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 45.9 percent from floor and 37.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Miami now has 15 players under contract, though the Heat do have some flexibility. Josh Richardson and Briante Weber have non-guaranteed deals. And Rodney McGruder’s pact is partially guaranteed.

McGruder appeared in 48 games (44 starts) with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League last season, averaging 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.38 steals. He shot 51.3 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from long distance.

[Photo by Alex Brandon/AP Photo]