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Would Johnson stay in Atlanta?

Mar 16, 2010, 8:48 AM EDT

Johnson.jpgIt has just been assumed that at the end of the season, Joe Johnson would be moving on from Atlanta. He is going to get a big contract from some general manager trying to save face after they miss out on LeBron/Wade/Bosh, and Atlanta was going to let him walk at that price.

But Johnson told the Sporting News he’s not eager to go.

“I can’t do anything but let all of that play out,” Johnson told Sporting News. “I don’t know what is going to happen in the future, but I love my teammates and I love my team and hopefully it all works out where I am in Atlanta for a long time.”

Players are well trained by their agents to say how much they want to stay where they are, how they love the fans and their teammates, how they can’t imagine moving on. It’s part of the dance.

But what if Johnson did stay? What if Atlanta was able to lock him up at a fair price? The Hawks have built something pretty good, certainly fun to watch, and Johnson is at the heart of it. Keeping him around would certainly be good for the ATL, at least for the next couple years. (If some team offers Johnson a five-year deal they will regret it by the end, when age will have caught up with him.)

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