Suns acquire Heat’s Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington for Anderson

Feb 6, 2019, 5:15 PM | Updated: 5:20 pm
Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson, right, passes the ball as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lilla...
Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson, right, passes the ball as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

The Phoenix Suns have acquired guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington from the Miami Heat in exchange for forward Ryan Anderson, the team confirmed Wednesday.

John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station initially reported the complete deal.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report Phoenix was acquiring Johnson.

Anderson’s contract is a near match to Johnson’s and has $21.3 million remaining for the 2019-20 season, though only $15.6 million is guaranteed.

Johnson is on a contract that will have paid him $19.2 million by the end of this year, which nearly matches Anderson’s $20.4 million deal. Johnson has a player option for another $19.2 million next season — one he’s expected to pick up — before he becomes a restricted free agent.

Johnson, 26, is averaging 10.8 points and 2.5 assists in 25.5 minutes per game mostly coming off the Heat’s bench this year. He’s shooting 43 percent overall and 35 percent from three-point range.

Next season, Johnson’s expiring contract can be utilized if the Suns chase after any trades where large salaries are swapped.

Although Ellington is arriving with Johnson from Miami to Phoenix, the guard may not be in the desert long.

Wojnarowski reports that Ellington’s agent is working with the Suns to waive the guard, allowing him to join a playoff contender.

Ellington, 31, is averaging 8.4 points on 37 percent three-point shooting. He’s on an expiring $6.2 million deal that had a veto option for any trade attached to it. Phoenix has the ability to swing another deal for Ellington but he cannot be aggregated into a package deal.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Johnson is in his fifth NBA season after going undrafted out of Fresno State.

Anderson was acquired as part of the Suns’ trade before the season that shipped Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss to the Houston Rockets. Phoenix also received rookie point guard De’Anthony Melton in the trade.

Anderson agreed to lower his guaranteed amount to $15.6 million for next season — the amount of Knight’s deal — and having fallen out of the rotation could have been a buyout or stretch candidate after this year. Gambadoro reports the expectation was the Suns were going to waive and stretch Anderson in the offseason.

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