Heat Sign Joe Johnson

5:55pm: The move is official, the team announced.

5:32pm: Joe Johnson, who reached a buyout agreement with the Nets on Thursday, will sign with Miami, tweets Heat managing general partner Micky Arison. Johnson cleared waivers this afternoon, and Arison’s tweet indicates that he will be available for Sunday night’s game with the Knicks.

On Friday, the Heat emerged as the favorite to sign Johnson after initial speculation that he might go to Cleveland. Miami has two open roster spots, so no move would be necessary to add Johnson. However, the signing will push the Heat back over the luxury tax line. Miami dipped below the line with moves at the trade deadline, but left itself unable to sign any player at any salary before March 6th without crossing the line again. The Heat will pay repeat-offender tax penalties of at least $2.50 for every dollar they’re over the tax line on the final day of the regular season.

Johnson averaged 11.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 57 games with Brooklyn this season. The Heat will be his fifth franchise in a 15-year NBA career.

The move has the enthusiastic support of veteran guard Dwyane Wade, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald“To put somebody on the floor that can shoot the ball, can score in different areas of the floor and make plays, just adds to what we’re trying to do,” Wade said. “Joe is a friend of mine. I tried to do my best to paint the picture that this is a good place to be, and the decision from there is his. Make sure he sees my name in his in-box a lot. He made the decision what’s best for them… Open arms in Miami for him.”

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