After quite some time in the dog house, Johnson seems to be making progress after it was reported Wednesday morning that the forward has met his conditioning targets.
James Johnson has made his conditioning targets and will travel to Atlanta. Waiters will remain behind for conditioning. https://t.co/UcLaxzCn8X
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) October 30, 2019
An added wrinkle to this report is that while Dion Waiters was also back at practice on Wednesday, he will remain in Miami while the rest of his team heads to Atlanta to face the Hawks. Waiters was suspended for the first game of the season after team president Pat Riley cited “unacceptable incidents.”
It is unclear if Johnson will actually record his first minute of playing time this season versus the Hawks on Thursday, but it is good to know that he is seemingly working hard to get back on the court.
At their best, both players offer value for Miami. Johnson is a hard-nosed defender who can stonewall multiple positions. Waiters is a streaky scorer who can win games single-handedly when he gets hot. None of that value will be on display, however, until they can get back into the good graces of their team.