Multiple reports indicate that the Miami Heat have made a move to fill their last open roster spot with Tyler Johnson, an undrafted rookie out of Fresno State University. Johnson, who spent much of summer camp with Miami before joining the team's D-League affiliate (Sioux Falls Skyforce) will be joining the team for Sunday afternoon's game versus the Los Angeles Clippers.
Former Heat camp invitee Tyler Johnson has been signed to a 10-day contract to back up Dwyane Wade. Heat likes Johnson's defensive energy.— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) January 11, 2015
The move makes some sense following last week's waiving of Andre Dawkins. Without a legitimate backup at shooting guard, the Heat had relied on James Ennis to fit the role but his play has been inconsistent of late.
The Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman provided some additional details of the signing, among them:
- Players may sign up to two 10-day contracts before being signed for the rest of the season or being released
- The addition of Johnson does not affect the $2.65 million disabled-player salary-cap exemption the Heat received for the season-ending injury of Josh McRoberts
- Johnson scored 19 points in a 124-99 Skyforce loss on Saturday night to the L.A. Defenders. He'd been averaging 18.5 PPG for Sioux Falls in 13 appearances.
Multiple sources indicate at least part of Miami's decision to recall Johnson was due to his experience playing with Shabazz Napier and Hassan Whiteside. While Whiteside has earned more playing time of late, showing flashes on the court in limited minutes, Napier has all but fallen completely out of favor. Perhaps the young trio will be playing more if the team continues to lose games (having dropped eight of their last 11 contests) or it could be an opportunity for Johnson to inject some athleticism and energy into a team that has lacked a spark for much of the season.