The Heat scored the biggest prize on the buyout market when they reached an agreement with Joe Johnson. Owner Micky Arison announced the news with a tweet shortly after Johnson cleared waivers at 4pm Central, adding that Johnson will be in uniform for Sunday night’s game with the Knicks.
Johnson hit the open market on Thursday when he agreed to a buyout with the Nets. Even at age 34, he remains a productive player, averaging 11.8 points in 57 games with Brooklyn and shooting 37.1% from 3-point range. That number is especially important to the Heat, who have been searching for long-distance shooting all season and ranked 28th in 3-pointers made entering Saturday.
The addition of Johnson brings some good news to a roster that has been beset by injury. Forward/center Chris Bosh may have to sit out the rest of the season with a blood-clot issue in his left calf. Backup point guard Beno Udrih is expected to miss three months after having surgery on his right foot. And combo guard Tyler Johnson is in danger of missing the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, though he hopes to return in April.
The signing of Johnson has been drawing praise inside and outside the organization. Shooting guard Dwyane Wade welcomed the addition, saying, “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.” LeBron James of the Cavaliers, who along with the Hawks were among the finalists to land Johnson, said, “He’s a great piece for any team.”
That brings me to today’s question: Does Joe Johnson make the Heat a real threat to win the Eastern Conference? Miami is currently fourth in a crowded East race at 32-26. They sit two games behind the third-place Celtics, but only three ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. Can Johnson spark the Miami offense with his 3-point shooting, playmaking and veteran pedigree or will the potential loss of Bosh be too much to overcome?
Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on Johnson and the Heat. We look forward to what you have to say.