The Miami Heat may have lost out on the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes but it doesn’t mean that the Heat are left without options. Dion Waiters and James Johnson, following their breakout seasons, are set to sign multi-year contracts with the team that helped resurrect their careers.
According to CBS Sports, Dion Waiters has reached an agreement to sign a 4-year, $52 million deal with the Miami Heat. The 25-year-old combo guard averaged 15.8 points per game last season and has become a vital piece of the franchise. Waiters was instrumental in turning the Heat’s season around after starting 11-30 last season. The Heat won 13 straight games after that 11-30 start with Waiters (playing 11 games in that span) averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists on almost 50 percent shooting from the field and from the three-point area.
Likewise, James Johnson emerged as a key figure in Miami’s resurgence last season. According to Bleacher Report, Johnson and the Miami Heat have agreed on a $60 million, four-year deal with a player option in the final year of the contract. Johnson helped the Heat, bereft of All-Stars with the departure of former franchise player Dwayne Wade and the health issues of Chris Bosh, to be in the thick of the playoff race. While the Heat failed to make the playoffs even after salvaging a 41-41 record last season, the fact that they finished 30-11 in the second half is a testament to how bright Miami’s future is with James Johnson back in the fold.
USA Today reports that Kelly Olynyk agreed to a four-year deal amounting to more than $50 dollars with the Miami Heat. Olynyk averaged 9 points and 4.8 rebounds in close to 21 minutes per game for the Boston Celtics last season. The 26-year-old seven-footer should be able to compliment the Heat’s front court. With Olynyk being paired with Hassan Whiteside, the rising star James Johnson, rookie Bam Adebayo, and old-reliable captain Udonis Haslem, the Heat should have a versatile and relatively quick front court. And with Eastern Conference relatively weaker than it was in recent years, the Heat should figure heavily in next season’s playoff race.
Probably the victim of the Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson signings, the Miami Heat is reportedly planning to trade Josh McRoberts and a future second-round draft pick to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for A.J. Hammons, The Vertical reports. The Josh McRoberts trade is primarily a move to clear cap space for the Olynyk and Johnson signings. The Miami Heat is reportedly trying to bring back Willie Reed and Luke Babbitt. Reed is drawing a lot of attention from other teams including the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors, the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers, and Indiana Pacers.
With the Miami Heat locking up Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, and Dion Waiters, the Heat should be competitive in the upcoming NBA season. They may have lost out on an All-Star after Gordon Hayward picked the Boston Celtics, but at least one Celtic, make that an ex-Celtic, is happy for the chance to play with the Miami Heat. And Olynyik should be a good fit for the hustle and bustle Heat.
[Featured Image by Wilfredo Lee/AP Images]