Miami Heat officially announced on December 19 that they had waived former Orlando Magic guard BJ Johnson. With this final cut, head coach Erik Spoelstra‘s 17-player roster is now complete for the 2020-2021 season.
The move to release the 24-year-old guard/forward was not surprising. Earlier on Saturday, Miami had announced that they signed Max Strus to a two-way contract, which meant Johnson’s release imminent before the 5 p.m. deadline.
Johnson, who played at Syracuse before transferring to La Salle, appeared in 10 games with the Orlando Magic, where he averaged 3 points, 1.5 rebounds in 8.3 minutes of action, according to NBA.com. He played 28 games with their G League team where he averaged 22.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.07 steals.
Johnson, who initially signed with the Heat on December 4, faced stiff competition to nab one of the Heat’s two available two-way contracts. Ultimately, these two spots went to Strus and Gabe Vincent.
The Heat Waived 2 Prospects Earlier in the Week – Breein Tyree & Paul Eboua
Before releasing Johnson, The Heat got a headstart on trimming down their roster on December 16 by waiving two promising young players. Coach Erik Spoelstra‘s camp squad is now down to 18 after the release of undrafted guard Breein Tyree and international prospect Paul Eboua.
After going undrafted in 2020, Tyree had signed with the Heat on November 25. A former guard at Ole Miss, the two-time ALL-SEC player helped lead the Rebels to the 2019 NCAA Tournament. He led the team in scoring through his junior and senior year, averaging 17.9 points per game and hitting 37.5% from a 3-point distance, as reported by the Clarion Ledger.
Fun fact: If the 22-year-old’s name sounds familiar, it’s because the 6-foot-2, 195-pound baller’s cousin is former New York Giants star, David Tyree, who caught the insane “helmet catch” during Super Bowl 42.
As for Eboua, 20, the 6’8 forward grew up in Douala, Cameroon, played the last three seasons in Italy. Shortly after playing on loan with the Lega Basket Serie A team VL Pesaro, where he finished the season averaging 7.4 points with 5.3 rebounds per game, he declared for the NBA Draft in 2020.
Miami Heat Has Not Announced Their Starting Lineup
The Heat is ready to start the upcoming season after signing the following 17 players. However, Coach Spoelstra has not announced the team’s starting lineup.
Here is the 2020-2021 Miami Heat roster: Strus and Gabe Vincent with two-way contracts, Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Udonis Haslem, Precious Achiuwa, Bam Adebayo, Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless, Kendrick Nunn, Andre Iguodala, Meyers Leonard, KZ Okpala, Kelly Olynyk, Duncan Robinson and Chris Silva.
The team’s first regular-season game is scheduled for Wednesday, December 23 against Johnson’s former team, the Orlando Magic. The Heat’s home opener at the American Airlines Arena is scheduled for Christmas Day. They will take on Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans, a team they lost to during their preseason matchup.