The Miami Heat ended last season on a high despite failing to make the playoffs. Following a very poor first half of the regular season (11-30 record), the Heat went on to astound the NBA by achieving the second best record in the second half of the season (30-11). Only the mighty Golden State Warriors had played better basketball during that period.

Dion Waiters and James Johnson were in great part responsible for this impressive streak.

Their improved play helped the Heat turn the corner. The two were unrestricted free agents this summer, but they have agreed to deals that intend to keep them in Miami for several more years. Waiters will sign for four years and $52 million and Johnson for fours and $60 million, according to recent reports.

Miami Heat were waiting on Hayward

Waiters and Johnson's future were indirectly connected with that of coveted free agent Gordon Hayward.

The Miami Heat had set their eyes on the All-Star in this off-season. The Heat landed a meeting with Hayward and had high hopes of pairing him with Hassan Whiteside and becoming relevant again the eastern conference. The Heat competed with the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics for his services. Luckily for Waiters and Johnson, Hayward decided to move to Boston. Had he joined the Heat, Miami would have not had the sufficient cap space to re-sign the two players. Waiters, 25, and Johnson, 30, ultimately ended up where they wanted to.

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NBA

Waiters 'arrives' to the NBA

Waiters, the 6 ft 4 in shooting guard, averaged 15.8 points, 4.3, assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game on 42.4% from the field and 39.5% from the three-point line. Waiters was not able to showcase his talents with the Cleveland Cavaliers first and then the Oklahoma City Thunder. Five years later, Waiters seems to have finally found a home in the NBA. Waiters was handed the confidence to score at will in Miami.

Waiters' return to the Heat next season was unclear. Waiters merely made $2.9 million last season. After playing like he did with the Heat, he knew that number would increase drastically in his new contract. Waiters drew interest from different teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.

Johnson remains with the Heat

Johnson also had a breakout season. His best play has surfaced rather late in his career, but he has proven that he can be a special role player that impacts the game on both ends of the floor thanks to his tenacity and aggressiveness.

Johnson was looking forward to remaining with the team that finally let him shine. The 6 ft 9 in forward averaged 12.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game last season.

Heat plans

Pat Riley's plan A (getting Hayward) did not come fruition. However, his plan B has left him satisfied. He has repeatedly stated that he would very happy to see both Waiters and Johnson, two key contributors to the 30-11 streak, stay in Miami.

The Heat are reportedly also signing free agent Kelly Olynyk on a deal of four years and $50 million. The Heat now have a floor-spacing big man. The Miami Heat will have a decent team next season, but one thing that cannot be denied is that their cap space is compromised for the coming years. Their ability to chase big-name free agents, like they have become accustomed to doing, will be no easy task in the future.

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