The Miami Heat‘s evolution from post-dynasty retooling/plucky upstart status to contending once again has been a joy to observe for the South Beach faithful. However, there have definitely been some casualties along the way as Pat Riley has tweaked the team’s roster to chase a championship.
While the Heat worked to elevate themselves in the league hierarchy, players like Kendrick Nunn, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside and more were culled from the flock to make room for heavier hitters.
The same could be said for combo guard Tyler Johnson, who appeared in 257 games with the Heat over parts of five seasons from 2014-19. Unlike some of the other popular players who have come and gone over the years, though, the talented 30-year-old has struggled to cement himself with another franchise since leaving the Heat.
As of this week, however, Johnson looks to have found his next basketball home.
Johnson Is Headed Down Under
Per an announcement from the club on Friday, Johnson has committed to lending his unique skill set to the NBL’s Brisbane Bullets. The former Heat fave and eight-year NBA vet will be joining the Aussie club — which compiled a 10-18 record last season — on a one-year contract.
“We identified recruiting an American guard and to be able to sign someone of Tyler Johnson’s ability and pedigree ticks the box of our recruiting brief,” said Bullets GM Sam Mackinnon
“Adding Tyler to our back court of [Nathan] Sobey and [Jason] Cadee gives us great flexibility and we add another playmaker. He can shoot the ball exceptionally well, creates for his teammates and many people have spoken about what a quality human being he is.”
For his part, Johnson looks to be equally stoked for the partnership.
“After having a great conversation with [head coach James Duncan] and [Mackinnon], I was excited about the direction they are taking this team,” Johnson said. “I have heard so many good things about the NBL and want to be a part of growing this league.”
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Johnson’s Career At a Glance
After going undrafted out of Fresno State in 2014, the 6-foot-3 Johnson joined the Heat for summer league and, eventually, inked a training camp deal with the club. He then made his way to the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce before landing a series of 10-day contracts with Miami.
He played well enough during that first go-round to net a two-year deal with the club. And Johnson went on to improve his game in year two, averaging 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists and posting shooting splits of 49-38-80 despite being hammered by injuries.
As a result, the Heat were compelled to match a perhaps overly-rich four-year, $50 million offer sheet he signed with the Nets during the summer of 2016.
For the next two-plus years, he was a double-digit scorer, sneaky deep threat and occasional starter for the Heat. In the end, though, his contract was shed in a cost-saving trade as Miami worked to trim its luxury bill in 2019. Since then, Johnson has bounced between the Suns, Nets, Sixers and Spurs in search of a place to hang his hat.
In 354 career NBA games, Johnson has averaged just under 10 points, 3.0 boards and 2.3 dimes per contest while shooting 42.6% from the field and 36% from deep.