With the salary cap on the rise this summer, it was becoming more and more clear that the Miami Heat would not be able to afford to retain all of their players, particularly their starters. Though they managed to re-sign their #1 priority for the offseason yesterday with center Hassan Whiteside, fellow starters Luol Deng and Joe Johnson are moving on to new teams just a day later.
Joe Johnson has reached an agreement with the Utah Jazz on a two-year, $22 million contract, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, with Luol Deng also agreeing to a four-year, $72 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to The Vertical.
The two veterans had their moments during their time with Miami, with Deng, 31, filling in admirably as a power forward during this year's playoff run without Chris Bosh and bringing his trademark versatility to every game after signing in the summer of 2014 in the aftermath of LeBron James' departure.
Johnson, 35, started off hot from the field immediately after signing on with Miami in the latter part of last season after being bought by the Brooklyn Nets. He was an immediate starter as the Heat went 16-8, averaging 13.4 points on 52 percent shooting. Those numbers dropped down to 12.1 points on 43 percent shooting in the playoffs.
Dwyane Wade sent his congratulations to his two former teammates on Twitter upon hearing the news:
Congrats to my guy Joe Cool...Dinners on you in Utah big homie.— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 2, 2016