Did Johnson makes the right call?

Did Joe Johnson make the right call on not signing a contract extension with the Hawks? Time will tell. But you can bet the topic will be debated daily until the end of this Hawks season, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Did Joe Johnson make the right call on not signing a contract extension with the Hawks? Time will tell. But you can bet the topic will be debated daily until the end of this Hawks season, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

HAWKSVILLE – Much has been and will be made about Joe Johnson’s decision to bypass signing an extension with the Hawks and become a free agent at the end of this NBA season.

And rightfully so.

In the minds of us common folk, the idea of staring down $60-plus million more dollars seems laughable in these harsh economic times. But Johnson is not one of us (common folk), and there are at least $70 million reasons for that. He also has something professional athletes have maybe once or twice, if they are lucky, in their entire careers — LEVERAGE.

By playing out the final year of his deal he’ll become a free agent in the summer of 2010, joining guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a deep free agent class that has as many as a dozen different  (financially capable) teams around the league salivating. So in that regard, he’d have been crazy to sign an extension for just four years if he stands to get not only another year but millions more by becoming a free agent next summer.

My email was flooded Tuesday afternoon by people wondering what JJ was thinking. Fans of the Hawks, writers from around the league and concerned citizens all wanted to know why he’d so such a thing. My response to everyone was the same, why wouldn’t he maximize his leverage at this time?  Teams do so all the time when their players are free agents. In recent years the Hawks have had Josh Smith, Josh Childress, Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia play out the final years of their deals without an extension. In almost every case things have worked out well for both sides.

It’s simply a part of the business of basketball that Johnson explained to me the other day. He could have saved his words. I get it. I don’t assume that his loyalty is somehow in question because he turned down the offer, the same way I don’t (always) question a team’s loyalty when they allow a player to finish out his deal before deciding just how much they want to invest in said player for the future. Again, it’s called leverage.

The reality in all these instances is pretty clear, you have a player for the life of his contract unless a decision is made to change that dynamic. And it’s always for better (JJ) or worse (Flip Murray’s deal was just one year), through sickness (or injury in Speedy Claxton’s case) and in health (Smith has been as durable as any player I can remember through the first five seasons of his career).

I dare anyone to suggest that the Hawks haven’t squeezed every ounce of benefit they could out of having JJ on the roster – he’s got the mileage on his body to prove it if anyone wants to inspect the tread on his tires. He’s been to three straight All-Star games and for at least the better part of his first two years he carried this team on his shoulders as the youngsters grew up and learned the nuances of the NBA game. That’s why it’s so hard for me to digest some of the venom pointed in his direction now.

As I suggested in a comment on the previous post, the idea of a highly motivated All-Star in the prime of his career itching to take his game to another level (for any reason) is an ideal situation for your team. As good as JJ has been in the past, you have to think he’ll be even better this year with the seasoned and talented roster the Hawks have in place, not to mention the quality additions to the roster like Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague in the backcourt and Joe Smith and Jason Collins in the frontcourt.

It’s the same argument made here by many when Smith, Childress, Williams and the like were put in a similar position as pending free agents in the final year of their respective deals.

Whether or not JJ made the right call for JJ remains to be seen. And we likely won’t have a solid answer until next summer’s free agent frenzy plays itself out. But there’s no way the Hawks can lose in the meantime. No way.

366 comments Add your comment

Clyde

September 30th, 2009
8:48 am

@DanWeiner

September 30th, 2009
8:52 am

I wish this would act like a contract year kind of thing where a guy goes nuts to prove to everyone he’s worth a huge contract, but reality is Joe can fall back on the Hawks original offer if he doesn’t get a bigger offer somewhere else. The Hawks were right to offer it, Joe was right to weigh all of his options. I don’t think this a big deal, Joe will be a Hawk for a long time.

Craig

September 30th, 2009
8:53 am

Maybe this will allow the management to upgrade the starting rotation next year –

Teague/Bibby
WADE
Marvin
Smoove
Horford

mrHonline

September 30th, 2009
8:55 am

It’s all about that extra year. Don’t get me wrong, I had hoped the Hawks would nap him on a four-year deal, but I understand Joe’s decision to wait. Either way, that fifth year is gonna be a cap killer down the road…

vava74

September 30th, 2009
9:00 am

Here’s my take on previous commentaries on the preceding post:

When JJ underperformed in the playoffs, everyone was saying that he was not being aggressive and that he was not taking over games…

I distinctively remember that he tried his best to beat double and triple teams in order to find a good shot or to a pass to someone free (which was way more frequent than him forcing bad shots).

Now that he has not signed the extension, he is a ball hog… if he was a selfish guy, wouldn’t he have shot more? His FG% in the playoffs was poor, however, it was only 2% worse than during the regular season (.020) which does not necessarily translate in to him being selfish.

He was the victim of a unbalanced system which was exposed by a stronger competition, bad refereeing and further undermined by Marvin and Al’s injuries (and, of course, by his own ankle sprain).

Anyone bashing JJ is being incredibly ungrateful.

Clyde

September 30th, 2009
9:01 am

I say trade Joe and get something in return. Roll Tide.

vava74

September 30th, 2009
9:03 am

I believe that this is still relevant since it was posted as this blog was being put online:

I think the ball hogging accusations on JJ around here are going a bit over board.

Yes, JJ pounds the ball a bit too much for my taste as well, however, if we look at our system, he actually plays the PG position for us for long stretches of the game, many times, his ISO plays end up being drive and dish situations, specially when he acts as a decoy, being double or triple teamed.

Hence, I think he plays the role which has been assigned to him by Woody and it is not him conditioning our system.

This system has obvious disadvantages, however, it also has proven to have some advantages:

It maximizes Bibby’s positive characteristics as a sniper and minimizes his negative ones (he is no longer able to carry the rock and distribute consistently);

Since there is less ball movement, it diminished the TO’s in a very inexperienced team.

Now we need to see if the system evolves and JJ is required to share the rock more and let the play flow.

Nonetheless, in relation to real stats and not “impressions”, last year we rated 23rd in Assists per game with 20,20.

This is way better than how we historically fare in this chapter.

We should all note that we were ahead of Orlando which went to the finals (29th with 19,42), New Orleans who has Chris Paul (28th with 19,62), close to Cleveland which game is stalled by Lebron (20th with 20,28) and not far away from the midway mark (Golden State was 15th with 20,86 with their up tempo game).

On top, there’s the Jazz and then the Lakers, who have ball movement as default in their systems (Sloan is a great team play coach and the Triangle Offense implies that Kobe does not hog the ball).

Then comes Phoenix (up tempo game on the second half and Steve Nash) and then the Celtics (a good passing starting 5).

vava74

September 30th, 2009
9:06 am

Clyde,

We will have to revoke your “trade Joe” license as well… specially when you are all crimsonly around here… this is a Hawks’ blog!

Truth-Serum

September 30th, 2009
9:07 am

Enter your comments here

Good Grief

September 30th, 2009
9:09 am

Sekou, the way I look at it is that you have to like the way both side played the game or did business. Im a business owner and so I look at this for what it was – both sides doing business. I honestly think the Hawks offer was less than what Joe expected or even what I would expect they would have offered – especially when they offered Marvin what? 40 mil, and he was injured throughout last year. The Hawks tried to pay him based on what he did last year. So, if you’re Hawks management you want JJ to have a really good year because it increase your chances of making the playoffs for a third year in a row.

I would think that JJ has put more pressure on himself to perform well and maybe that’s what he needs. If he doesn’t perform well the Hawks maybe take their previous offer off the table for less or he gets the same offer. He plays well and he’ll get offered more because more teams will want him and the Hawks will have to come out of their pockets. Another thing working for both sides is what you mentioned about his leverage with it being a deep free agency class. The Hawks also have that going for them too because maybe they choose to go in a different direction or maybe teams pay less attention to JJ.

All around I’d say both sides made good moves – the Hawks with the initial offer, and JJ couldn’t really go wrong with his decision.

Willie Coyote

September 30th, 2009
9:09 am

Trade Joe and get WHAT in return? WTF?!

Dan23

September 30th, 2009
9:16 am

As much as I appreciate and believe what JJ has done for the Hawks and the younger players on the team. And as much as I cannot fault him for using the leverage he has. I am not sure he will be able to ever be seen as the elite player. I just do not believe he is unselfish enough to some degree. For example, in the All-Star games he has been in, he really struggled. I think teams remember things like that as well as the Cleveland sweep as they consider giving him elite money.

Ron E.

September 30th, 2009
9:17 am

Leverage? Please. Joe wants to do same thing as John Smoltz did a year ago: leave an Atlanta team that isn’t yet ready to win a championship for a different team that offers him a better shot at a ring (plus more money).

ILL-logical

September 30th, 2009
9:17 am

ILL-logical

September 30th, 2009
9:11 am
A bit of clarification is in order, I believe. Jamal Crawford was obtained as an insurance policy in the event that Mike Bibby did resign AND if Joe Johnson did not either. Mr. Sund ’s move was essentially revenue neutral because when the salaries of Acie Law, Calvin Claxton and Ronald Murray culmlatively are compared with Jamal Crawford’s , it is a wash. In addition, the 1 for 3 swap allowed Mr. Sund to bring both Joe Smith and Jason Collins without having to delete any key personnel and within the team’s budget.

With some additional assets and a relatively stable payroll, Mr. Sund is now afforded some financial flexibilty: he has made an intial offer, albeit lowball, offer to Joe Johnson to demonstrate the organizations desire to retain his services and he now has the ability to trade every other featured player on the roster to improve the team at any point in the season or in the summer.Not bad for a country boy.

Joe Johnson will get paid whether it is here or someplace else. He will however have to show more leadership both on and off the court to get there. He is going to have to do “star” type things if he wants to earn “star” money. Hiding out in Arkansas every year will no longer be an option if he wants to be among the league’s elite. Me, I hope that he achieves his goals here by making his teammates and the team better on the court and representing the organization in a visible and positive manner off of the court as well.

niremetal

September 30th, 2009
9:22 am

Truth-Serum

September 30th, 2009
9:25 am

Yes! Joe has got some sense. Its not about money. Its about winning championships. Hes not going to stick around while the press and Sund try to convince him that Horford, a powerforward playing center and Zaza koncak (3″vertical leap) is what is going to help him get his ring. With champions its about winning championships.Cant be a champion with out a championship…Duh. The Hawks are playing themselves out of position(like horford),when it would have been wiser to sign flip for a whole lot less than Crawford. Let the 3″ vertical leap…leap, and sign collins. Let the contract of speedy and acie expire this year. You would have saved more than 10 million when you consider the expiring contracts, and be posied to go after a name brand,enforcer type center to get to the next level. Meanwhile with flip and collins in place of crawford and koncak you will still get a fourth place finish.

JJ is leaving because Sunds moves leave a lot to be desired. JJ is about to go to his peak years and wants a championship or 2. I dont fault him for that. Thanks for giving us hope and exciting years! Good Job JJ.

What is clear is that it is not about money. 15mil a year is nothing to sneeze at. Its about Championships. JJ clearly doesnt believe he can get it here. Not with these bone head moves.Its clear Sund (like the anti woodson hate cell) doesnt understand basketball or is not trying to win a championship.

Im with JJ on this one. I like winning.

Fork Tongue Review Board

September 30th, 2009
9:29 am

Bibby will be finish with basketball in 3 years. His skills are already diminished. What remains is a top 5 world class 3-pt shot. Thats whats keeping him in the game.

JJ Fan

September 30th, 2009
9:31 am

The only way this doesn’t work for Joe is if he sustains a big injury this year, which isn’t out of the question considering how hard Woody has worked him here in Atlanta. I hope the Hawks get everything they can out of Joe this year, and make a deep run in the postseason. That way, it won’t matter if Joe stays or not — Atlanta would still be able to attract a top FA at the end of the season.

And Craig, replacing JJ with Wade would be an even swap at best, not an upgrade. D-Wade is the only horse in the NBA who’s been ridden harder than Joe has. His physical age is much older than his calendar age b/c Miami won’t give him any help.

Truth-Serum

September 30th, 2009
9:33 am

Ron E.

September 30th, 2009
9:17 am

I couldnt agree more!

Gilk

September 30th, 2009
9:33 am

Enter your comments here
Zero concerns with this situation. Go Hawks!

dap01

September 30th, 2009
9:55 am

There is also a risk with not signing a guaranteed contract. I hope that he plays good team ball and he is with the Hawks a long time.

Hoops

September 30th, 2009
10:08 am

It’s business. If I were JJ, I would wait until next summer to see what I could get in the FA market as well.

Relax, I think JJ will have a great season for the Hawks. It will only help him in free agency as well as help the Hawks.

Sautee

September 30th, 2009
10:08 am

vava74,

You said this:

“Anyone bashing JJ is being incredibly ungrateful.”

I don’t know your definition of “bashing”, but you must remember that Joe signed a $70M contract to come here and be “the man”.

If you CHOOSE to put yourself in that position, then you should be able to handle the heat that goes along with it.

I think much of the criticism about his playoff production was valid, other than the last two games against CLE when he was obviously hurting. And I’m quite sure that if you asked Joe, he’d be the first to agree that his playoff stats are less than HE would want.

But believe me, I’m grateful for what he has done. I just refuse to believe that he’s beyond ANY valid criticism. And THAT does NOT make me “incredibly ungratelful”.

Speak for yourself.

GeeMack

September 30th, 2009
10:10 am

Vava74

Impressive. Excellent homework. I see why we agree most times. Lol.

My take on JJ not accepting the offer. JJ is in the prime of his career, and can make great money and be on a contender if he get with one of the elite players. JJ see that the Hawks past up the oppurtunity to pair him with championship caliber talent. JJ is a winner and he wants to win a championship. He sees the Hawks as a good team, but not a champioship team.

Fork Tongue Review Board

September 30th, 2009
10:13 am

JJ has earned and delivered on his $70M contract. He want a ring. He not going to get is with this team. Yes. Anyone bashing JJ is incredibly ungrateful. JJ has done his job.

Let the man go forward and pursue winning on the higher levels while the hawks play the Horford is a center game.

Jones

September 30th, 2009
10:23 am

I doubt he’s going to do better than that from anyone else next year. That’s a lot of money for any player these days, and if you read the press about the Hawks from around the league, the biggest knock on them is that they have a lot of talent but no superstar. If no one else thinks he’s a superstar, who’s going to pay him more than $15 million a year?

Hate Woodson Movement

September 30th, 2009
10:24 am

Guys lets not shift our ignorance from Woodson to JJ. Lets keep up the hate on Woodson . Lets blame this JJ leaving thing on him and Truth-Serum.

JJ is ungrateful

September 30th, 2009
10:27 am

JJ says he wants to join the elite. Therefore he doesn’t yet think he’s an elite player. He’s bashing himself for not being better. As we know, anybody who bashes JJ is ungrateful, therefore JJ is ungrateful for the job he;s done so far.

Fork Tongue Review Board.

September 30th, 2009
10:27 am

Its not about money its about Championships! However, yes, JJ can get 15mil from another team. Its not about money. Its about winning.

GeeMack

September 30th, 2009
10:29 am

Truth-Serum

I’m with you on the champioship talk. However I think the Hawks need another bonified star regardless of position oppose to a center. If you look around the league most teams don’t have great centers. Shaq is the only great center to win a title in the last 7 years. Al could be a championship level PF. The 3rd wheel on a champioship team. I agree with you this team is not built to win a championship, and JJ wants win a champioship in the final stages of his career.

Fork Tongue Review Board.

September 30th, 2009
10:32 am

JJ never said he wanted to be an elite player. The 15milion per year the Hawks offered speaks for itself what level of player he is. The man wants a championship!!!! What is it you dont understand? It is hard to explain to scrubbs what it like to be a champion. Its like explaining smog to a fish. They have no concept.

Sekou Smith

September 30th, 2009
10:34 am

I agree with Gilk. I have no concerns about this situation. Go Blue and Go (Smyrna) Spartans. :)

Truth-Serum

September 30th, 2009
10:41 am

GeeMack

September 30th, 2009
10:29 am

We certainly agree on more than we disagree. I think what you are saying is rather obvious. I cant see how so many can miss it.

I think where you and I may have a difference is in the definition of Good center. I look for a force at the post with a territorial mine set who is ‘CAPABLE’ OF SCORING 12-18 PTS a night so you cant leave him unattended. Please note the word capable. I disagree with your assessment of whether the more recent champions have had such a center, it is not, however, worth the debate. I have read you for a while and agree with you on much. You have a good understanding.

Thank for the shout out.

JJ is ungrateful

September 30th, 2009
10:54 am

“My sole focus right now is on this team and what we’re trying to accomplish this season,” Johnson said. “I have some goals set for this season for my team, and I have some individual goals set for myself as well. I really feel like I can be one of the elite players in this league, and it’s going to be an exciting year.”

I can see where the forked tongue name came about. He never said what he said, huh?

Fork Tongue Review Board.

September 30th, 2009
11:11 am

Gee, Thank for the correction, sautee… I mean JJ is ungrateful. How many players are making 15 mil a year? Would you say thats an elite bunch? I would. The problem with scrubbs, is they often exhaust an conversation by debating issues that have very little relevance. Sautee…I mean JJ is ungrateful.

By the way there is a rumor that is that since the Hawks wont guarentee Woodsons contract Then JJ not sure he want to play for another coach. After all Woodson and JJ at tight.

ToeKnee

September 30th, 2009
11:11 am

Joe if your reading this don’t let these fair weather fans get to you. I know what you’ve put into this team, and I know you don’t wanna walk away right as we’re about to reach that championship level. I had hoped you would sign, but if you wanna bet on yourself, as a man i respect that. Show us what ya got!even though you already have for years now. It’s gonna be a fun year Go Hawks!

newkid

September 30th, 2009
11:13 am

To those of you inclined toward research, it would really be interesting to know which players – over the past 30 years – advanced from ’star’ to ‘elite’ status DURING their 9th year in the league. Is this a pipe dream, or does it actually happen? Is the JJ flower already in full bloom, or might we expect an unreasonable to anticipate late burst of color?

Dan

September 30th, 2009
11:13 am

Sekou,

I am leaving tomorrow for East Lansing. Will be at the game on Saturday. Go STATE!!! Never thought they would be 1 and 3 right now, though.

How can anyone be mad at Joe Johnson? If you are, you obviously have not been paying attention for the last 4 years. That is one guy, even if he leaves, that I could ever boo when he returned to Philips. That guy has made the Hawks what they are today.

Fork Tongue Review Board.

September 30th, 2009
11:20 am

Sautee..I mean JJ, A fork tongue mean a liar…one who is dishonest one who says two different things of his or her mouth. Being unaware of a statement is not equated to a fork tongue. I understand your maliciousness and I also can see you are ignorant, which explains why you blow a Tuba for your morning alarm clock. You do get worked up over the most minor issues, most of which arent relevant.Then you want to engage conversation and debate on the trival. You remind me of the lone fly that has snook into the house and ends up in someones glass of milk. You dont serve any worthwhile purpose.

Joe Mama

September 30th, 2009
11:25 am

newkid

September 30th, 2009
11:13 am

I agree, Joe is what Joe is! And what he is apparently is worth 15million per year to a middle level team like the Hawks. To me that would make his status among the elite. I dont believe there are 15 players making 15 million a year. I do agree with you that Joe is about as good as he can get. He will be this good for the next 5 or 6 years. thats the good thing. What better is, in a couple of years Marvin Williams will be just as good if not better.

Mike is back

September 30th, 2009
11:26 am

Well after going back to the previous blog and reading all the comments I missed about JJ’s decision…absent some of his remarks, I agree with Nire, I understand the point Nire is trying to make. This is a smart business decision by JJ…he may not ever have this type of advantage to negotiate a contract again. I don’t blame him for making that decision.

Sekou also made reference to the frugal approach of ASG in contract negotiation. I don’t see where JJ is being selfish. He will definitely be sort after by other teams…someone will show him the money. I am also reminded what happen to Ben Gordon in that situation…but obviously, this is a risk JJ is will to take.

Before you spew any more hate towards the man…lets be honest…Woody has rode JJ like a borax mule. He has probably been playing tired and hurt the last two seasons. JJ has done everything this organization has asked. JJ is an All Star and he has been good for the Hawks. I do not see anything in JJ comments that indicate he ready to give up on the Hawks.

Call me crazy but I like this situation for the Hawks as well…they have Crawford and Teague to evaluate leading up to the 2010 FA. Having these guys lessens the drama for me. I think the kid Teague has the potential to be a super star in this league…by FA time some around here may be thanking JJ for making this decision…u never know.

The best thing is with JJ having made this decision…he will have to put up or shut up…knowing he will be in spot light all seasons long being hounded by reporters. He will not only be auditioning for other teams…he will be auditioning for the Hawks…its a good situation for the Hawks.

The Hawks treated their super star with respect and offered him a reasonable contract…JJ feel he is one of the elites in the league…than let him prove it…if he does you gotta pay him are let him walk…THERE IS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO JJ AND GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Extraordinary Nuttz

September 30th, 2009
11:31 am

Hyummm, No Woodson no JJ…Could this be related? Does JJ like playing for Woodson?Are they that close? Hummmm interesting, to be continued….

Smell my feet!

September 30th, 2009
11:34 am

Go JJ. GET YOUR RING!! THANKS FOR THE GREAT TIMES AND SEASONS WITH THE HAWKS. YOU AND WOODSON WILL BOTH BE REMEMBERED AS THE TWO THAT TURNED THE HAWKS AROUND.

Smell my feet!

September 30th, 2009
11:38 am

Top shooting guard salaries: 1. Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers, $21.26million. 2. Allen Iverson, Detroit, $20.84million. 3. Tracy McGrady, $20.37million. 4. Ray Allen, Boston, $18.39million. 5. Joe Johnson, Atlanta, $14.23million.

HUMM THIS IS LAST YEARS…

Smell my feet!

September 30th, 2009
11:39 am

ETOP 2008-09 NBA SALARIES
Highest paid NBA players:

1) Kevin Garnett (Boston) $24,751,934
2)tie Jason Kidd (Dallas) $21,372,000
2)tie Jermaine O’Neal (Toronto) $21,372,000
4) Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers) $21,262,500
5) Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix) $21,000,000
6)tie Allen Iverson (Detroit) $20,840,625
6)tie. Stephon Marbury (New York) $20,840,625
8) Tim Duncan (San Antonio) $20,598,704
9) Tracy McGrady (Houston) $20,370,437
10) Ray Allen (Boston) $18,388,430
11) Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas) $18,077,904
12) Paul Pierce (Boston) $18,077,903
13) Shawn Marion (Miami) $17,810,000
14) Rashard Lewis (Orlando) $16,447,871
15) Michael Redd (Milwaukee) $15,780,000
16)tie Pau Gasol (LA Lakers) $15,106,000
16)tie. Andrei Kirilenko (Utah) $15,106,000
18)tie. Amare Stoudemire (Pho.) $15,070,550
18)tie Yao Ming (Houston) $15,070,550
20) Mike Bibby (Atlanta) $14,983,603

Sautee

September 30th, 2009
11:42 am

truth-serum (and other names),

Why are you addressing me? You wanted me and Ken to not talk to you and I’ve honored that. Take your accusations where the sun don’t shine.

This will be my last post to your babble and nonsense, so leave me out of it.

I WILL say that I’m confident that Joe will re-sign here, and that’s fine with me. He’s a good player and crucial to our future. Sorry I can’t have your faith in his selfishness.

darrell starks

September 30th, 2009
11:47 am

THE CURRENT ROSTER WANT WIN A TITLE ANY WAY, WE NEED A MEGA SUPERSTAR IN THIS CITY CAN YOU IMAGINE D WADE OR LEBRON CAME HERE IT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST MOVE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS FRANCHISE.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

September 30th, 2009
11:50 am

Let joe go and go after D WADE in the worst way he will be almost as big as the nique back in the day.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!

newkid

September 30th, 2009
11:53 am

Joe Mama,
From JJ’s reported statement, he disagrees with you regarding his current status as an elite player (”…I can be one of the elite players in this league…”). Notice he didn’t say he IS one of the elite players in the league; he’d be foolish to make such an assertion. If his decsion to ‘play it out’ is based upon the notion that he’ll BECOME one of the elite players in this his 9th season, and will therefore command millions more and an additional year at the tail end of the deal, I don’t see why he shouldn’t pursue that course. I just don’t know – because I’ve not done the research – if his premise (i.e., “…I can be one of the elite…”) is rational given the history of such 9th year achievements over the past 30 years. I suppose it could happen. Good luck to him.

But I’m FAR more interested in good luck coming to the Hawks than I am in what lies ahead for JJ. I suspect Sund feels that same, and if so, this decision by JJ to not re-sign is potentially a HUGE (deference to Woody) opportunity for Sund and the Hawks. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine that the 4-year offer (rather than 5) was intended to elicit this sort of reaction from JJ. If he accepts, fine let’s move ahead; if he declines, let’s proceed – without the need to save face – with pursuit of a real ELITE player who recognizes we’re on the cusp of something terrific here, and wants to be a part of it. If indeed that was the thinking, sign me up for that strategy. That Sund, is he perhaps crazy like a fox?

Smell my feet!

September 30th, 2009
11:54 am

Atlanta Hawks Salaries

Player 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Joe Johnson $14,976,754
Josh Smith $10,800,000 $11,600,000 $12,400,000 $13,200,000
Jamal Crawford $9,360,000 $10,080,000
Marvin Williams $7,355,166
Mike Bibby $18 million ( 3years )
Zaza Pachulia 4,750,000.
Al Horford $3,589,700 $4,537,381 $5,953,044
Maurice Evans $2,500,000 $2,500,000
Jeff Teague
Joe Smith $1,306,455
Jason Collins $1,181,893
Mario West $1,000,497
Randolph Morris $855,189

TOTALS $52,925,654 $28,717,381 $18,353,044 $13,200,000 $0