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NBA report: Joe Johnson agrees to sign with Miami Heat

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson (7), shown driving agianst the Heat during a game Jan. 26, will join a depleted Miami roster. 

(Al Bello / Getty Images)

Joe Johnson has agreed to sign with Miami, a move that would give the Heat a shooter that they craved for the stretch run.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations spoke with the Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been signed.

Johnson could sign with the Heat as early as Saturday when he clears waivers. The earliest Johnson — who was bought out by the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week — could play for the Heat is Sunday, when they visit the New York Knicks.

It’s a complex move for the Heat, who made a series of deals at the trading deadline to get under the luxury-tax threshold and avoid the highly punitive repeater tax. The team was planning to wait until the second week of March to add a player, then would add another in the final week of the season to fill the roster but still escape the repeater.

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Barring another move, those plans are now changed.

The Heat have long had a philosophy that they would pay the tax if they deemed a move worthwhile, and Johnson’s shooting ability apparently qualifies as such. He has 85 3-pointers this season, more than any other Heat player. Miami’s top 3-point shooter this season is Chris Bosh with 81, and Bosh’s status for the remainder of the season is most unclear as he deals with a blood clot that formed in his leg and was diagnosed during the All-Star break.

Miami is down to 10 available players, with three players — Bosh, Tyler Johnson and Beno Udrih — either hurt or ill, and two roster spots left vacant as part of the moves that got the Heat under the tax line.

Rose out again

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Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is sitting out against the Atlanta Hawks because of right hamstring tendinitis.

Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, missed his second consecutive game Friday night. The Bulls were also without All-Star Jimmy Butler, their leading scorer, forward Nikola Mirotic and center Joakim Noah.

Rose averages 16.5 points per game, third on the team behind Butler and Pau Gasol. Tony Snell took Rose’s spot in the starting lineup.

Gordon set for return

Pelicans guard Eric Gordon, who has missed 16 games with a fractured right ring finger, will return to the lineup against Minnesota on Saturday night, New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said.

“He was playing pretty good basketball when he got hurt, so hopefully we can get him back” to that level, Gentry said after Friday’s practice. “It will just be good to have him out there.”

Gordon, who has average 14.9 points per game this season, injured his finger against the Timberwolves on Jan. 19. Gordon said he’ll play with a small, stabilizing brace on his finger initially.


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