The Miami Heat traded guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to the Phoenix Suns for forward Ryan Anderson on Wednesday night.
The deal provides salary-cap and luxury-tax relief for the Heat, while Johnson gives the Suns another playmaker and ballhandler to back up star guard Devin Booker.
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Johnson, 26, was in his fifth season with Miami since going undrafted in 2014. He is averaging 10.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 44 games (10 starts) this season. He is earning $19.2m this year and has a player option for another $19.2m next season before becoming a restricted free agent.
Anderson, 30, earns roughly the same amount at $20.4m this season but has a friendlier contract in 2019-20 with only $15.6m guaranteed.
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Anderson has made more than 1,300 career three-pointers since he entered the league as a first-round pick in 2008, but he had played in only 15 games in 2018-19, his first season with Phoenix. He is averaging 3.7 points and 18.5 minutes.
Ellington, 31, had fallen out of the rotation in a deep Miami backcourt this year, appearing in 25 games and averaging 8.4 points. He is playing on a one-year, $6.2m contract.
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Ellington’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, is attempting to get the Suns to waive his client and allow the guard to join a playoff contender, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
The trade reduces the Heat’s luxury tax for this season from $9.7m to $1.7m, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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