In Bleacher Report's NBA Free Agents with the Most to Prove next season, they put Tyler Johnson at the #4 spot due to the starter-level contract he signed with the Miami Heat.
"Replacing a legend is never easy, and that's essentially what Tyler Johnson is doing. With Dwyane Wade gone to the Chicago Bulls, he'll be one of the Miami Heat's primary shooting guards and could hold down the starting spot his predecessor owned since his 2003-04 rookie season."
"But it's the reality because Johnson—not Josh Richardson, who could also start at the 2—signed a $50 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets that the Heat chose to match. They're invested in his development, and it's hard to look at the money spent and not wonder if some could've gone toward appeasing Wade's monetary requests and keeping him a Heat lifer."
At $50 million, Tyler has the fourth largest contract on the team, following only Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside, and Goran Dragic. Justise Winslow and Richardson got more press last season, but Tyler walked away with the money this summer after two seasons at minimum pay.
This year marks his third with the Heat, and when his contract is done, he will have been with the team for six years. The Heat had him for basement prices the first two seasons, so the $50 million deal is almost like a catch-up one. Over six seasons, he will have averaged a little over $8 million per year, which isn't extravagant in today's NBA.
Micky Arison is a big fan of Johnson, as Pat Riley said during his press conference,
"Micky said, 'You're [Brooklyn Nets] not poaching any of my guys.' And Micky made the decision. He loves Tyler. He's a young piece and part of our future. So we'll deal with years three and four, but years one and two we got him at a bargain."
Nobody can replace Wade, they can only be the Heat's next shooting guard. Miami put its money on Tyler to start out the season, not Richardson or Wayne Ellington. We'll see if Tyler can prove Micky's investment in him worthwhile.
Richardson could play the 1, 2, or even 3 position, while Tyler can be a either a 1 or a 2. Given that Johnson's contract with the Heat demands a starter's minutes, where does he and Richardson fit in the rotation?