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Report: Joe Johnson finally agrees to take all the money the Hawks can give him

Jul 4, 2010, 3:34 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for johnson_game.jpgThe Atlanta Hawks franchise is worth $306 million, according to Forbes Magazine. They just agreed to terms with Joe Johnson on a max deal — six years and $119 million.

We knew this was coming, and Atlanta-based Sekou Smith of just confirmed it.

The Knicks made a hard late push and tried to save the Hawks from themselves, but to no avail. Johnson likes Atlanta and said from the start he would stay if the money was right. This money is more than right.

Joe Johnson is a good player, an All-Star, but he is not a true max-deal guy. He cannot carry a team in the way that LeBron or Dwyane or Bosh can. Paired with a guy like that, his team becomes powerful, but in Atlanta he is surrounded by other good but not transcendent players. That’s enough to get to the second round of the playoffs each year. New coach Larry Drew will try to change that with an offense that involves motion in some sense — a nice change of pace — but it may not be enough.

The bigger issue with this deal is the six years. Johnson will turn 29 before next season, meaning he will be 34 in the last year of this contract (when he earns $23 million). Perimeter players see drop-off in their games in their early 30s. By the end of this deal, Johnson could be a very overpaid, one-dimensional shooter. It may be the worst contract in the NBA by 2015.

But for now, everyone is happy. The Hawks got their man, Johnson got his money.

  1. Da Real - Jul 4, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    It is no small wonder that some teams never win. What a stupid contract.

  2. Marietta Don - Jul 4, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    Joe is Not a Player that NBA Fans come to see. He is not a floor leader, team leader or a lead by example player. The Hawks are crazy to spend that kind of money for that many years on a jump-shooter who proved in the playoffs he couldn’t get his shot going when defended. He also ‘dissed’ the Atlanta fans because we didn’t like his performance in the playoffs. Dumb move

  3. Oliver J - Jul 4, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Teams are willing to pay for good or great players. If Joe had gone to another team what would happen to the Hawks. I don’t believe they could make it back to the playoffs without Joe.

  4. Seriously... - Jul 4, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Who else were they going to get? Not LeBron, not Bosh, not Wade. I guess the Hawks were supposed to let him walk and end up with nobody. To have any chance over the next few years to be competitive they had to do this.

  5. Barry - Jul 5, 2010 at 6:37 AM

    Sorry – Lebron and Wade have a proven record of carrying their teams. Lebron more consistently than Wade, albeit Wade obviously had a couple of sex tapes of the referees judging by the non calls made in the 06 finals. Bosh on the other hand is in no way shape or form a franchise guy – a classic 20-10-50 guy. 20 wins. 10 rebounds. And 50 losses. Like Zach Randolph and Elton Brand. Still a better player than Joe Johnson though.

  6. hawksfan - Jul 5, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Good for the Hawks, Better for Hawks fans, Great for Joe. See you in the PLAYOFFS.

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