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2016 NBA Free Agency: Tyler Johnson, E'Twaun Moore sit squarely in middle of New Orleans Pelicans crosshairs

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Dell Demps is looking to spend around $10 million annually on a reserve combo guard -- the exact price range predicted to secure the services of one Tyler Johnson!

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans have been linked to a number of combo guards early in free agency. Specifically, they have been tied to Jeremy Lin, E'Twaun Moore and Tyler Johnson.

Earlier this morning, Lin agreed to a 3-yr, $36 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets, leaving Dell Demps with two remaining options. It was reported that Moore met with the Pelicans earlier this morning.

Despite the meeting with New Orleans officials, one should assume the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves have a greater chance of luring him to their teams. Moore has played for the Bulls the last two seasons, and with Derrick Rose now on the New York Knicks roster, he could be in line for a greater role.

Meanwhile, Tom Thibodeau was Moore's coach in his first year in Chicago. Thus, there could be some synergy between the two which could lead Moore to follow Thib's to Minnesota.

So by process of elimination, Tyler Johnson is the last man standing on the want list. More importantly, his cost appears to be in the precise price range Dell Demps is offering to pay.

In May, Johnson fully expected to return to the Heat, "Barring something crazy." Did he not get the memo that the exploding salary cap was likely to cause mayhem everywhere? Well, it looks like the Pelicans are prepared to be at least one team ready to make things interesting for him.

Further, Dell Demps, or any other NBA general manger not named Pat Riley, has the opportunity to stick it to the Heat with a poison-pill type of contract. Essentially, if the Heat want to match say a 4-yr, $40 million offer, their cap hit would be enormous in the final two years (thanks to the Gilbert Arenas Provision) -- similar to what the Knicks and Bulls would have had to pay to keep Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik respectively at one point in the past.

Meanwhile, a deal by any of the remaining 29 teams would approximately have an average cap hit of $10 million a year in our example, or in other words, the team making the offer would have an annual cap hit of his average salary over the four seasons combined for a contract this large.

Simply put, there is a good chance Tyler Johnson will not be playing for the Miami Heat next season. Could he wind up a member of the New Orleans Pelicans?