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Report: Joe Johnson about to accept Hawks max deal offer

Jul 1, 2010, 8:53 AM EDT

jjohnson_locker.jpgAnd in the first big free agent signing of the summer… nothing happened.

Joe Johnson will remain a Hawk and accept their max-deal offer (six years, $124.5 million), according to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports. Not a shock there. Johnson’s people had been saying for weeks that ultimately he wanted to stay in Atlanta — not just because of Daddy Dz Barbecue — and if they made the offer, he would take it.

Atlanta may well come to regret this offer — they just paid a good player superstar money, they just paid a perimeter player big money until he was 34. The fifth and sixth years of this deal it could be a burden. A franchise with an estimated net worth of $306 million just agreed to a $124 million deal. But they got their man.

The Knicks also met with Johnson and made a max deal offer, but it is for five years and about $27 million less. Johnson was a guy the Knicks and a number of other teams has as their second tier targets. But Johnson was among the many free agents leery of going to New York if LeBron doesn’t go there. Do you want to be the guy expected to be the savior of that franchise right now? Do you want to have to live up to those expectations? It’s a lot to ask.

Houston, Dallas and Chicago also were trying to get meetings with Johnson, but that may all be moot now.

  1. hnirobert - Jul 1, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Stupid move. They’re going to tie up a ton of money on someone who is NOT a max player, and still end up a 5th or 6th seed in the NBA with the Bulls, Magic and Heat, more than likely, being the big dogs.

  2. mike - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Knicks/Mavs/ and any one else’s fans should take a collective shy of relief. Good player, but not worth that much $$. I live in Atlanta, but a Knick fan and really did not want to see him sign for the max on either team. He is worth about 10-12 million a year for 4 (maybe 5) years = 40-60 million total, not 124 million. Thats probably about double to triple his actual worth…Kind of crazy!

  3. Jimsjam33 - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    The bad teams make bad deals for good players . Joe Johnson is not even the most exciting player on the team , Josh Smith is !

  4. Josh - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    At least the Hawks will stay out of the abysmal black hole that they were stuck in during the early 2000’s. They at least will be in the playoffs and not slouching at the back of the back like they were doing yearly from 2000-2007. I think you may be underestimating them though. Bibby and Johnson showed a lot of promise this season and they work well together. If the Hawks put some decent role players around them, they have the opportunity to upset the front-runners. What they really need… A Big Man

  5. ocgunslinger - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    I have to agree that Joe Johnson would really be stupid NOT to take that reallllllllllllllllllly stupid offer from the Hawks. Good ball player but not a franchise guy worth 20 million a year. Nobody should get between Joe and the contract or he will bowl them over grabbing the pen.

  6. mindbodyspirit - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Whew! I was worried Paxson’s lackey Forman was going to offer him a crippling contract… better the Hawks than the Bulls. Atlanta will be regretting this unless another 2 of their young guys grows up fast and stay at a high level of play~ Johnson isn’t the type to carry a team on his own.

  7. hnirobert - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Agreed, I just think typing up that much money on someone like him is going to do more damage than good in the long haul. They should have let him walk and gone after Rudy Gay or another younger player.

  8. Ian - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:31 AM


  9. Frank - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Unless this is a sign and trade the hawks are the biggest losers of the free agency so far. Joe Johnson is a complimentary all star not a franchise player. The hawks could have spent their money better.

  10. Malkmus - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Is Joe Johnson truly a ‘max contract’ player? No, probably not but I’d venture that the same is true for Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer & Amare Stoudamire & at least one (if not more of that trio) is likely to obtain a max deal as well. From the Hawks’ perspective, re-signing Johnson actually makes sense to me even though he probably be a lot like present day Ray Allen at the back end of it. Keeping Johnson to go along with Al Horford, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, Jeff Teague, etc will keep the Haws’ relatively young core in tact & the team should continue its playoff push in the comng years. Losing Johnson would’ve set this team back & a team with the recent history of the Atlanta Hawks couldn’t really afford that.

  11. Michael From Atlanta - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    That was a bad move. We could have gotten a couple of great stars from the Free Agent pool and built revenue off of their names. Joe Johnson is not a superstar and is rather lazy if you ask me I think I am turning my “Wilkins” Hawks jersey in. I think I am going back to being a Bulls fan and Maybe a Bucks fan for B. Jennings.

  12. Josh - Jul 1, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Michael from Atlanta: You are obviously not a true fan of your team if you are willing to jump teams based on one move. Congrats, your lack of fanship is showing.
    HNIRobert: Agreed. The amount of money they are giving him is a little over the top, but losing him would have created a dire situation for the Hawks which I think that they can overcome now that they have Johnson locked in for years to come. They can build around him and they will be a threat in the next couple of years. I think that they may still have a shot at a couple of decent players and although they will not be able to sign the likes of Lebron and D-Wade, they really don’t need to. Being a Mavs fan, all of this has no application to me in the big picture other than if the Hawks face the Mavs in the Finals, which is not likely from either side. I do however think that the Hawks are taking steps in the right direction towards building an Eastern Conference power and are a team to watch in the next few years.

  13. Slick1 - Jul 1, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Hawks are going NOWHERE with this coach they just hired. Wishful thinking but back to 28-34 wins at best.

  14. Josh - Jul 1, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    You my friend are wrong. Larry Drew has been an assistant in the Hawks system. He knows the players strengths and weaknesses, knows the offense and defense and he was also a former player himself. Glad you have done your research. (That was sarcasm by the way)

  15. Josh - Jul 1, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    By the way, when I say former player, since you haven’t looked into this at all, I mean a 10 year veteran with over 8,000 points scored. The guy knows the game.

  16. ctb - Jul 1, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    stupid business decision. Hawks should be saving some of that money to get a post player and a better pg. This is crazy!

  17. Matt - Jul 1, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    Bottom line: Hawks had no choice. Johnson is an all star and they could not have replaced his production. They are one big man away from competing for a championship. The Hawks are known to have the worst sports fans in America and by reading these comments, that point is reaffirmed. This comes from a Celtics fan. Atlanta fans should be rejoicing.

  18. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    I think most people are in agreement that he’s not a max player. But what choice did the Hawks have? They aren’t going to sign Bron Bron or D Wade or one of the true max players. They could’ve used that money for a couple mid-tier good players but that probably wouldn’t get them any more wins than Johnson and Josh Smith. The Hawks were in a tough spot. So if you’re a Hawks fan I guess you can be like the Wolves fans were four or five years ago. You knew that KG would get you to the first round of the playoffs and then say bye bye.

  19. Koby - Jul 1, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    This reeks of the Orlando Magic giving Rashard Lewis a max contract. These are the same Hawks that have drafted poorly over the years (Marvin Williams over Chris Paul AND Deron Williams). Need I say more?

  20. DW - Jul 1, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    I’m with hnirobert. Joe Johnson is barely All-Star material. JJ isn’t worth $124.5 million.

  21. R LEWIS - Jul 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM


  22. Drew - Jul 1, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    I disagree that the Hawks had no choice. What they’re going to end up with is the dreaded Allan Houston scenario the Knicks had. A bloated long-term contract that they couldn’t get off their books as Houston got injured and aged. I don’t believe they are a centre away from being a championship team either. Sure, that would help, but they’re lacking leadership. Where are they going to find a dominant centre anyway in free agency when they just tied up $124 million to a complimentary star? Atlanta will remain a stagnant playoff team. At least if they let Johnson go, they could rebuild. Instead, they’ll fade away after another playoff exit. By the way, Mike Bibby is getting old too.

  23. Hball - Jul 1, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    People keep saying ATL was in trouble and had no choice, but they did. They should have let mediocre “Joe Johnson” who really isn’t all-star material, go somewhere else and be a 3rd option if he was lucky enough elsewhere. Truthfully, he’s a pretty good player, but really a 4th option type guy on most team that are going to make a run at a championship. Okay below are presumably the best teams right now in NBA and to me here’s where he would fit in.
    Boston 3-5 option (depending on if Ray and Paul are cold.)
    Cavaliers 2-3 option (Moe is usually a no-show, so go Joe Johnson.)
    Lakers 5-6 option:Odom, Gasol, Bynum, Fisher, Kobe
    Nuggets 4-5 option: Carmelo, Billups, Carter
    Chicago 3-4 option: Rose, Nhoa,
    Orlando 2-4 option: Howard
    Other teams with good/great players where Joe would not be a #1.
    Golden State: Ellis and Curry = 3 option
    MAN I’m going to stop, because there are almost NO TEAMS in the NBA where JOE could be a really good 2 option.
    He’s Mediocre!

  24. morrie - Jul 1, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    6 years 75 million would be just right. Joe is a good player, not a superstar…this will definitely haunt the hawks in the years to come. Can’t believe the a qualified GM would make this kind of decision…I’m sure Joe wasn’t expecting this…he’s now licking his chops!

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