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Free Agency 2010: The LeBron-Johnson possibility

Mar 20, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

Ric Bucher of ESPN has a report today including information from a source discussing LeBron James and the 2010 Free Agency Summer of Doom. The source contends that Hawks guard Joe Johnson may be the King’s preferred partner in crime if he heads beyond the sunny gates of Cleveland.

Bucher outlines how Johnson would absorb less of the spotlight than Dwyane Wade, and he’s a better proven closer than Chris Bosh (despite Bosh’s critical three looooong two against the Hawks the other night). A true dynamite two-guard would seem to be a great compliment for LeBron with the ability to spread the floor.

Whenever we discuss rumors of this type, it’s important to outline a few things, even though we do it every time. One, this is just speculation. The reason it’s relevant is it outlines possibilities and contributing factors from a respected source.

 But at the end of the day, the throngs of folks that say “No one has any idea what he’ll do” regarding James are most likely correct. There are just too many factors to predict. Two, it is supremely far from a sure thing that the Cavs won’t be able to re-ink the Savior. If they walk away with a ring this year, that’s going to be near-impossible to walk away from.

And this possibility makes a lot of sense, but has some issues as well. Johnson is a high-usage player looking at his thirties. The King gets the ball first, second, and third. Johnson can act as a catch and shoot or cutting finisher, but he’s at his best when he’s breaking ankles and nailing floaters over three defenders. T

hose same abilities that make him special not only may make the idea of giving the ball up to LeBron 80% of the possessions unfavorable, but are the same skills that will face decline with age.

I spoke with Johnson at All-Star Weekend and asked him if remaining in the south was a favorable idea like it was when he departed Phoenix for Atlanta. He rebuffed that, saying he was older now and locale wouldn’t make an impact on his decision. So clearly New York is going to be on the board (the most likely destination of a LeBron-Johnson team-up). But making all the pieces fit will be a puzzle for GM’s with a lot on the line.

  1. nunya - Mar 20, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Bosh didn’t hit a 3 against Atlanta, he hit a 2. Maybe if the media actually paid attention to what Bosh really does and doesn’t do, instead of getting caught up in ill-researched drivel, they would have a better understanding of what might actually happen in the NBA. Nothing any of these hacks writes about any player/trade/rumor should be paid attention to.

  2. guest - Mar 20, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Except by you.

  3. Laughing at You - Mar 20, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    For wasting the time it took to read someone elses unfounded article and then re-writing it as your very own pile of poo.
    Check a source and then reference them once in while.

  4. Matt - Mar 21, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    It never ends Lebron is not going to New York to play with Joe Johnson and no one else that team does not win you need at least 5-7 good players in this league to compete for a championship. If you were Lebron who would you rather have Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Varejoe, Hickson, West, possibly Z and Shaq again or Joe Johnson, Danillo Galinari and a bunch of minimum contract guys tough decision. New York is pathetic this is all they have to cling onto, the hope that the best player in the world will join there horrible franchise it is not going to happen. Plus their coach doesn’t believe in playing defense something Lebron knows is more important to winning championships than scoring 130 everynight.

  5. PeteRocks - Mar 21, 2010 at 5:06 AM

    ture

  6. Howie Foch - Mar 21, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Your a jerkoff,

  7. Smartypants - Mar 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Lets face it, Lebron is not after $$ he is after rings, New York win?? Not in my lifetime. He stays in Cleveland and puts 6 rings on his fingers over the next ten years or bounces around chasing Jordan and being known as the greatest who just did not know how to win.

  8. T-STREETS - Mar 21, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    IF THE CAVS GET RID OF LEBRON THE AINT GONNA BE NO WHERE THATS A STUPID HE’S 1 OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE NBA HE IZ THE MIKE OF THE Age so they need to keep him

  9. Chad - Mar 21, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    omg…you people just dont get it. LeBron has publicly stated along with DWade that they are at a point in their careers that money will not satisfy them (Back in January). So, one can assume that with the abundance of cap space New York has cleared up and the past connection LeBron, DWade, Bosh, etc. have with 2008 Olympic coach and current Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni that there is DEFINATELY a major possibility that these guys could sign for mid-level deals and form a perennial championship contender in New York. Assuming you get the three big pieces of the puzzle (LeBron, DWade, and Bosh) to buy in, the possible team in millions of dollars per year could look something like this:
    PG: Rafer Alston ($2), Steve Blake ($4), Toney Douglas ($1)
    SG: Joe Johnson ($7), Dwayne Wade ($7), Michael Redd ($7)
    SF: LeBron James ($7), Wilson Chandler ($2.1), Danilo Gallinari ($3.3)
    PF: Chris Bosh ($7), David Lee ($7), Carlos Boozer ($7)
    C: Amare Stoudemire ($7), Shaquille O’Neal ($5), Marcus Camby ($5)
    Total Payroll: $78.5 million
    I know the big argument against this is “Players want max deals”, but when you consider the hundreds of millions of dollars the big names have made, why not take less and win titles together for the next 8 years?? All i’m saying is what i’ve laid out is in the cards for these guys just do the math!!!

  10. Flamethrower - Mar 22, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    That is the most ridiculous scenario I have heard regarding the 2010 free agent class (And there have been several ridiculous theories prior to yours). Since when, in the history of Professional Sports, has money not been an issue for these highly paid egos? Surely, you are not using the New York Yankees or Mets to show that athletes will take less money to come to New York. Hahahahaha!!!!

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