In the wake of certain posts that appeared just after I sent this series of tweets, I have pulled out the following paragraphs from this earlier post in order to highlight some specific thoughts I presented in a broader post written on July 11, 2016. Virtually this entire post can be found word for word in my previous post (with only a few very minor modifications so as to make it a stand-alone piece).
The Miami Heat initiated its post-Dwyane Wade transition by completing a flurry of questionable moves in rapid-fire succession on Sunday, the timing of which dictated by the man would could potentially replace him.
Tyler Johnson, who was on the books at just $1.2 million (the amount of his qualifying offer) to start the summer, signed a four-year, $50 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets on July 7th.
Johnson’s official execution of his offer sheet served as the trigger upon which the team’s entire summer was based. It provided the Heat three days, until midnight Sunday, to decide whether to match it and retain him.
The Nets (in accordance with NBA rules) structured the contract to make it more difficult for the Heat to match, which would produce cap hits of $19.2 million in each of the last two seasons. Johnson will receive $5.6 million the first year and $5.9 million the second year. The Nets attempted to make the contract as poisonous as possible, also attaching a 15 percent trade bonus which would take effect if the Heat were to subsequently try to trade the contract down the road.
The question, then, becomes: Why would Johnson have signed it?
Johnson had reportedly met with the Heat organization in the hours leading up to his signing the offer sheet with Brooklyn. What they discussed, and why he ultimately signed the offer sheet, is still unclear.
Had he chosen not to sign the offer sheet and instead sign with the Heat outright, it could have leveraged a portion of its $19 million of remaining cap room to provide him the same $50 million payout, but in a more standardized way (say, $12.5 million per season).
That, in turn, would seemingly have benefited all parties. For the Heat, it would’ve meant smoother cap hits with no poisonous back end, and no rush to try to match anything. For the Nets, it would’ve provided immediate clarity, and eliminated the need to tie up $12.5 million of cap space for three valuable days (i.e., the Nets, by rule, were required to maintain cap space equal to the average value of the offer sheet from the moment it was signed to the moment the Heat announced its decision on whether or not to match). For Johnson, it would’ve meant a more accelerated payout of equal money.
Nevertheless, Johnson signed it. Which necessitated that the Heat match, which, rightly or wrongly, it chose to do.
The only question then remaining: How would the Heat complete its roster in the wake of that decision, while keeping intact its primary goal to maintain maximum flexibility for the summer of 2017? Read more…