MIAMI – Tyler Johnson has been an invaluable piece to the Heat this season as a sixth man and energizer off the bench.
But just how good is he? That’s one of our questions in this week’s installment of the Heat mailbag. We answer that and more.
If you weren’t able to ask a question this week, send them in for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44). It’s a long season and we are sure there is a lot on your mind concerning the Heat.
@IDB1127: On a scale of 1 to 10, how good has TJ been this season?
Tom D’Angelo: Johnson has had a solid season coming off the bench, averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 turnovers while shooting 41.1 percent. Add in two other factors: He is in the first year of a $50 million contract and has been thrust into the role as a backup point guard, a position he still is learning, and he is doing this with a lot more on his plate.
Coach Erik Spoelstra loves Tyler’s energy and believes he is in the perfect role for this stage of his career. Where he needs to improves is his consistency and to avoid the uneven play we sometimes see. He has had slumps 7-of-29, 6-of-25 and 10-of-30 from the floor. But overall, the Heat are very pleased.
I would give him a 7.5.
@CPoTweetsStuff: Are you aware if any of the players have had contact with Chris Bosh?
Tom D’Angelo: First of all, just seven players on this roster ever have played with Bosh, so the number is limited. While we are sure there are more, two in particular have mentioned their conversations with Bosh, whose career with the Heat is over after failing a preseason physical because of recurring blood clot issues.
Udonis Haslem knows Bosh better than anybody on this roster, having played been a teammate since Bosh joined the Heat in 2010. UD said he frequently speaks with Bosh but those conversations, he says, have nothing to do with basketball but are more personal, about life and family.
Josh Richardson recently told Anthony that Bosh was the person who has helped him the most while Richardson was recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss training camp and the start of the season. “I talk to Chris Bosh a lot,” Richardson said. “He’s kind of helped me be patient and not rush it. He’s been good.”
@GusPTY: Which Draft Prospect do u think fits the best for Miami? I like Lonzo lol hes more a passer than a selfish attacker
Tom D’Angelo: One thing is certain: 2017 is a very deep draft. And one thing is getting closer to being a certainty: The Heat will have a lottery pick. Put those together and Miami should add an important piece for its future.
We know the Heat can use outside shooting and we know they do not need a center (barring a blockbuster trade). What we don’t know is if Goran Dragic will be back or if they will need a point guard. But you mention Lonzo Ball, a 6-foot-6 point guard from UCLA, who is averaging 8.8 assists along with 15 points. He would be an instant impact player but the question is, will the Heat’s pick be high enough to get Ball who is being mentioned as the No. 1 overall pick?
Others that would be a nice fits include Kansas’ 6-8 Josh Jackson who also is in the mix for the top pick; FSU’s 6-10 Jonathan Isaac; and a pair of Duke freshmen, 6-8 Jayson Tatum and 6-10 Harry Giles. Another point guard expected to be taken at the top of the draft is Washington’s 6-4 Markelle Fultz.
Any would be a significant addition depending on trades but it’s tough to project where the Heat will fall in the lottery and who will be available.