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Sunday 10 p.m.: Details on all the Heat's moves today and where the roster stands and some thoughts on the situation

The Heat assembled an entire bench -- and added candidates to replace Dwyane Wade at shooting guard --- during a frenetic six-hour stretch today. The upshot is a roster that now stands at 15, four days after the Heat had only seven players under contract.

Scroll to the bottom for my quick thoughts on what Miami did and where the roster stands.

The details:

• The Heat matched the Nets' four-year, $50 million offer sheet for Tyler Johnson. But because Miami had used all of its cap space by the time at which it matched the offer, his cap hit is just $1.2 million even though his salary is $5.6 million this season.

The problem for the Heat is Johnson's $18 million and $19 million cap hits in years three and four of the deal.

That could be onerous for a team seeking flexibility to pursue elite players in free agency. But the Heat chose to overlook that, instead valuing the asset of having a young, improving combo guard who's a formidable three-point threat and plays with high energy. Johnson cannot be traded for a year, incidentally.

• The Heat acquired forward Luke Babbitt for a second-round pick from New Orleans, a pick that once belonged to the Pelicans before the Heat traded Jarnell Stokes last February.

Babbitt fills the need for a three-point shooting small forward. He made 40.4 percent of them last season (44 for 109) after hitting 51.3 percent of his threes the previous season (59 for 115).

Overall, the 6-9 Babbitt averaged 7.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 47 games for New Orleans last season, including 13 starts.

He has one year left on his contract, at $1.2 million.

• The Heat agreed to terms with center Willie Reed, who impressed as a member of the Heat's Summer League team last season before the Nets snagged him with a guaranteed contract.

Reed, 6-10, averaged 4.7 points and 2.1 rebounds and 10.9 minutes in 39 games for the Nets, including two starts.

Reed agreed to a two-year deal at the minimum; the second year is a player option.

• Wayne Ellington, 28, agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal, but a person with direct knowledge said only the first year is guaranteed.

There is a conditional guarantee on the second year, according to a source; the Heat must inform Ellington by a certain date (typically in late June) whether that guarantee will be exercised for 2017-18.

Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson and Ellington are all candidates to replace Wade in the starting lineup. Regardless who starts, all three of them should play (with starting point guard Goran Dragic). 

Ellington, 6-4, averaged 7.7 points in 76 games for the Nets last season, including 41 starts. He shot just 38.9 percent overall and 35.8 percent on three-pointers (96 for 268).

He's a career 37.6 percent shooter on threes; he made 90 threes for the Lakers in 2014-15. This will be his seventh team in eight seasons.

• James Johnson, 6-9, signed a one-year, $4 million deal. He can play small forward and power forward and is considered a strong defender. But his offensive game is somewhat limited.

He appeared in 57 games and made 32 starts for Toronto last season, but his numbers were modest (5.0 points and 2.2 rebounds), partly because he averaged just 16.2 minutes.

He shot 47.5 percent from the field last season but just 30.3 percent on threes (20 for 66). He has made just 26.6 percent of three-pointers in his career, never making more than 22 in a season.

This will be his fifth team in eight seasons. He has never averaged more than 9.1 points per game in his career.

 • Udonis Haslem resigned for one year at $4 million, a reward for sacrificing financially in previous seasons. He is expected to play for the Heat for the minimum in 2017-18.

Here's where the Heat roster stands:

Center: Hassan Whiteside, Willie Reed

Forwards: Chris Bosh, Justise Winslow, Derrick Williams, James Johnson, Josh McRoberts, Udonis Haslem, Luke Babbitt

Guards: Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Rodney McGruder, Wayne Ellington, Briante Weber

It wouldn't be surprising if Beno Udrih returns at the minimum.

Overall thoughts: The Heat did a decent job rebounding from the Wade setback to assemble serviceable depth, though all of the imported veterans (aside from Reed) are either journeymen OR at least somewhat one-dimensional.

We like the Babbitt pickup; Miami badly needed another skilled shooting big, and Babbitt -- good value at the minimum -- can play either forward position. Reed has upside, and Williams is a talent, though he hasn't lived up to being a second overall draft pick. 

But ask yourself this: Would you rather have Wade or the players used to fill his cap space -- Haslem (who could have returned anyway with the $2.9 million room exception that Miami hasn't used) - plus Williams, Ellington, Reed, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson (who could have returned even if Wade had)?

I'd rather have Wade than Williams, Ellington, Reed and James Johnson, even if it meant giving Wade a third year on his contract. And giving Wade a third year would have been necessary to persuade him to accept a salary of $20 million this coming season.

And this was also curious: Why was the Heat comfortable guaranteeing $18 million for Tyler Johnson for 2018-19 (let alone $19 million for 2019-20) when it wouldn't offer Wade a third year at any amount?

Age is the obvious answer, but it's still somewhat puzzling, especially because of how well Wade played this past season and even more so considering Johnson's deal leaves the Heat with much less flexibility to sign a max player either of the next two years, though trades still could clear out enough space to achieve that.

(And there would be plenty of room for a max contract next summer if Chris Bosh has another setback and cannot play at all next season. Bosh is intending to play.)

Basically, Pat Riley eschewed the likelihood of having a good team for the next three years (with the potential for more, depending on health, which is a big IF) and instead gambled that he could once again assemble a great team in 2017-18 or 2018-19, even with the probability of a step back this season.

But achieving greatness will require not only being able to trade salary to sign a max player in coming years (Blake Griffin? Russell Westbrook?) but also being able to lure such a "whale" without Wade's help.

Never sell Riley short. Nevertheless, this is an enormous gamble and one Riley could regret if he cannot snag any of the handful of elite players that will become available in the next two summers.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

 

 

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