Kurt Helin

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Report: Nets formally sign Tyler Johnson to $50 million offer sheet, Heat have three days to match


After losing Dwyane Wade to Chicago, it seems likely the Heat will match this offer sheet. But now they have to make the call.

As has been expected, the Brooklyn Nets signed Tyler Johnson to a four-year, $50 million offer sheet just after the NBA’s signing moratorium ended at midnight, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Heat have three days to match the terms of the sheet to retain him – or lose him to the Nets.

The deal includes $18 million-plus and $19 million, plus “poison pill” provisions in years three and four of the deal designed to severely puncture the Heat’s salary cap and dissuade president Pat Riley from retaining Johnson.

The details of the “Gilbert Arenas rule” deal are this (he can only get the mid-level for a couple years):

Yr. 1: $5,628,000
Yr. 2: $5,881,260
Yr. 3: $18,858,765
Yr. 4: $19,631,975

If Miami matches, its salary cap hit would be the numbers above. For Brooklyn, the cap hit would be $12.5 for each of the four years of the deal.

This was a smart gamble by the Nets, a risk worth taking.

Johnson showed real promise for Miami in his first two seasons, part of a young core with Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson that is now both the present and the future for the Heat. Johnson is very athletic — he has serious hops — and is a combo scoring guard whose shot is improving. He’s a pesky defender. There’s a lot to like; Miami just would have preferred to have him for a little less money than they will need to pay now.

But expect them to pay it.

Clippers’ C.J. Wilcox suffers broken hand, to have surgery

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C.J. Wilcox has played just 268 NBA minutes across two NBA seasons — not because Doc Rivers doesn’t like him, but a combination of injuries (shoulder right after his draft) and the Clippers having some guards that soak up a lot of minutes just didn’t let him get on the court.

This isn’t going to help. From Dan Woike of the Orange County Register:

This will limit him in the summer; it is not known yet if he will be ready by the start of training camp.

Wilcox is entering his third NBA season and needs to show what he can do — he shot 39.1 percent from three last season but just 39.5 percent from two — if he is going to stick in the league long term. He has looked pretty good in the D-League, but he needs to prove he can do that at the next level this season.

Brandon Rush leaves Warriors, reaches one-year deal with Timberwolves

Associated Press

Brandon Rush bounced back to give the Warriors some needed point guard depth last season. Finally seeming healthy after knee surgery three years before, his play got Klay Thompson some rest, and Rush shot an efficient 56 percent true shooting percentage (above the league average). He was a key part of the Warriors rotation (even starting 25 games).

Now he’s about to be the fourth guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves, something confirmed by his agent.

This is a good get for the Timberwolves. Rush can be a solid fourth guard, playing off the bench behind Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio, pairing with Tyus Jones and sharing playmaking responsibilities. Plus he brings the veteran presence of a guy who has battled back from injury to win a ring.

I’m a little surprised the Warriors didn’t overpay a little to keep him, even if it was to be as trade fodder later. The Timberwolves will take it.

Report: Nene reaches deal to join Houston Rockets


With Dwight Howard gone and Mike D’Antoni in as coach, Clint Capella is going to get the start — and put up numbers — for the Rockets at center.

The question has been who plays behind him besides rookie Chinanu Onuaku. It looks like the answer is Nene, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The biggest question is how many games the Rockets will get out of Nene — he has missed at least 15 games (and usually much more) in each of the last five NBA seasons. He has to be on a maintenance program (limited minutes, no back-to-backs) and hope that limits the time he misses due to injury. Also, the lingering issues have limited his effectiveness when he is on the court.

When healthy he’s a good passer on offense and can knock down midrange shots, plus protect the rim. He’s not great at those things anymore, but he’d make a good backup, especially at the price the Rockets just got him for. It’s a solid pickup. They just can’t expect too much.

Video shows Lakers’ Nick Young holding firework that bursts


LOS ANGELES (AP) —  It looks like Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young hasn’t learned much about fireworks safety from New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

TMZ Sports has posted a Snapchat video of Young holding up a firework in his hand as it explodes. TMZ says the video was taken at a Fourth of July party, and Young wasn’t injured.

The Lakers say they have no comment on it. Young’s agent hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

Pierre-Paul is featured in a public service announcement produced by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission about fireworks safety and released last week. He shows off his mangled right hand in the video. Part of Pierre-Paul’s hand had to be amputated last year following a fireworks accident.

(PBT note: If the Lakers can’t find a trade partner for Young this summer, expect him to be waived and stretched before the season starts.)