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Report: Heat to sign undrafted Tyler Johnson

Aug 7, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

Tyler Johnson Tyler Johnson

The Heat are already learning the perils of life without LeBron James.

Sure, they’ll miss LeBron’s production when the season begins. You don’t easily replace an all-time great player in his prime.

But LeBron also has an ability to attract high-profile teammates, even for small roles.

Former All-Stars Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Juwan Howard, Jamaal Magloire and Jerry Stackhouse and former top-10 picks Greg Oden, Michael Beasley, Eddy Curry and Erick Dampier passed through Miami in the last four years. The Heat might not have gotten those talented players in their primes, but they got talented players.

Now, Miami is signing Shawn Williams and James Ennis, guaranteeing the contract of Justin Hamilton and adding undrafted free agents.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Undrafted rookie Tyler Johnson has reached an agreement on a free agent contract with the Miami Heat, a league source told RealGM.

Johnson, 21, had significant overseas offers, too, deciding to go with the Heat’s deal with an opportunity to make the regular season roster.

These are the type of players who sit on the end of the bench for nearly every team in the league. Even with LeBron, Miami had plenty of low-profile reserves.

It’s not even certain Johnson, who played at Fresno State, received any guaranteed money and will make the roster. He could be gone during training camp.

But the Heat are relying more on these marginal talents that previously. There’s more pressure to unearth gems and find rotation players where nobody else is looking.

Maybe Johnson can become one of those players, but his résumé is much thinner the ones Pat Riley is accustomed to seeing.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Shawn Marion and Ray Allen are considering signing up and Mike Miller already has.

  1. jasper36 - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    Did Brian Windhorst write this?

  2. clevelandrox - Aug 7, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    thats right riles! putting his genius to work…

  3. zoomy123 - Aug 7, 2014 at 4:12 AM

    I don’t think Miami is gonna be a very good team next year. This is basically the same team they had last year except they replaced Deng with LBJ, added McRoberts and Ennis, the only two impact players, and lost a ton of 3-point shooting. (At this point I’m totally not sold on Napier.)

  4. balsagna - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Wait I though Riley was the all great and powerful GM? You mean to tell me he’s received way more credit thank he deserves? Shocker. The same players he got credit for signing when Lebron was there won’t even take a second glance at the Heat. Lebron leaving just keeps getting better and better. I couldn’t be happier…

    • patsmiley - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      A great GM puts together a playoff team after losing the best player in the league. Which is exactly what Riley has done. You can hate the Heat all you want, but Riley is still one of the top GMs in this league. And I am sure your team would love to have him running the show.

    • marsh025 - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      You think you know the plan?
      Miami is trying to get from under the repeater tax burden this year. We already have our nucleus that we will go with THIS year. we’re not trying to spend much more.
      Riley is saving up for a run at 2016 when many big name FAs will be available.
      There is a method to the madness.
      But people with tunnel vision will never see that
      Enjoy your happiness as fleeting as it will be.
      He who laughs last, laughs the best.

    • doc305 - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Lol, yea the guy that brought Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mouring to Miami (ECF), the dude that drafted Wade, traded for Shaq, helped bring in three max players and convinced them to take less money…. 3 championships, 5 ECF titles,no you’re right he’s not a good GM, he deserve none of the credit, heck, the GM in Cleveland is obviously better for ALL of his success….

  5. mnsadsportsfan - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Yeah Beasley and Oden were such good acquisitions.

  6. doc305 - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Lol, who wrote this?? Big Z, Juwan Howard, Eddy…. I can’t even finish. Is this seriously what the writer thinks were some of the better acquisitions?? How about players that actually made an impact.. Battier, Birdman, Miller, Ray frickin Allen!! Meanwhile the writer fails to mention the fact that Riley convinced Bosh to stay (obviously the money was a huge helper, but Houston offered him practically the same annual dollars with a stacked team,who in Cleveland would have been able to convince him?), D Wade resigned, Birdman resigned, signed Deng after Lebron left, Ennis was drafted last year, but has looked good.. etc etc… Miami of course will not be near the power house it was in the past, but with little time to recover, Riley did a stellar job.

  7. daddyb1gdrawz - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    People cannot take shots at the Heat organization so they bring up they cannot attract free agents. The article fails to even mention impactful free agent signings on the cheap i.e Ray Allen. I do not consider Greg Oden and M.Beasley as impactful signings. Miami could have resigned M.Beasley right now if they wanted but he lacks an impact. Furthermore, if Beasley was such an impact why didnt Lebron urge him to come to Cleveland?

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