Despite rumors that he’s on the trade market, the Heat aren’t shopping forward James Johnson, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The team expects Johnson’s productivity to increase after offseason surgery to fix a sports hernia, which involves damage to soft tissue in the groin area. Johnson dealt with the injury through much of last season.
“It’s something that he played through last year and it affected him for sure,” said his agent, Mark Bartelstein. “They don’t come any tougher than James. His pain threshold is unlike anyone I’ve seen.”
Johnson posted a 10.9/4.8/3.9 line last season while providing the defense and versatility that he’s known for. He still has two seasons and about $30MM left on his contract, along with a $16MM player option for 20/21.
There’s more news from Miami to pass along, all courtesy of Jackson:
- The Heat know what they’re getting from Briante Weber, who reached a partially guaranteed agreement with the team earlier this week. He got into one game for Miami in 2015/16, but has played extensively for the organization’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls. Weber is an excellent defender who struggles with his outside shot and has been prone to turnovers. He had brief stays with the Rockets and Grizzlies last season and has played for five NBA teams in his three-year career.
- The Heat look for elite athletes when evaluating prospects, which is why they were drawn to former Parade All-Americans Malik Newman and Marcus Lee. Neither player was drafted, but both have raw ability that could help them succeed at the NBA level. Depending on whether Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem decide to return, Newman, Lee and Weber could all be competing for one roster opening.
- Dion Waiters continues to work out at the Heat’s facility as part of his comeback from ankle surgery that he underwent in January. Waiters was limited to 30 games last year and has only played 76 in two seasons since coming to Miami. He has two more years and $24.75MM left on his current deal.