Unrestricted free agents who are coming off a career year usually can't wait to sign a huge contract. But forward James Johnson isn't like most free agents and he has hinted that he'll rather stay with the team that gave him his big break.
"It's not always greener on the other side," Johnson said in an interview with the Miami Herald.
"That's the only thing that's going on in the back of my head right now. I might not have the same opportunities that I had this year — to get out of the box and play the way that I can to contribute to winning. Who knows if I can get that on another team. Money has nothing to do with that. Basketball, I love the game and I love it here," he continued.
That's actually a very mature way of looking at things. Johnson is a veteran journeyman and he understands the Heat's system has brought out the best in him. The team does have the salary cap space to give him a fair deal.
Johnson also said that he plans to sit down with fellow free agent Dion Waiters and Heat president Pat Riley to discuss their future with the team. Well, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra would love to have both of them on his squad again next season, and Riley has also noted that he wants to bring them back.
Johnson was the perfect role player for the Heat and his versatility allowed him to play both forward positions with ease. He started at times last season, but he doesn't mind coming off the bench.
Johnson averaged 12.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 blocks and one steal per game with the Heat this season. He's thriving there in Miami and staying there may be the right move for him this offseason.