Atlanta Hawks: J.J. Flirts With Miami Heat

Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald reports that J.J. says the Heat is a “great situation” and that he’s willing to switch from shooting guard to small forward to play alongside Dwyane Wade. The interest between J.J. and the Heat is mutual, according to Wallace.

It’s hard to get a read on Johnson regarding free agency. Depending on which day you asked him, he was liable to stick to his “keeping all my options open, we’ll see what happens” line, go with the “I’d love to stay in Atlanta” stance or occasionally let slip the flirtatious signals he sent to the Heat via Wallace. Is Johnson just being a good businessman or does he really want to leave the Hawks? He insisted that the way the season ended, with fans booing him off the court in what could be his final game, didn’t sour him on staying.

J.J. has said before that he doesn’t care about being The Man. Of course, like all players, he would like to be paid like The Man. And if the Heat strikes out on LeBron and decide J.J. is their guy, they’ll have to make the same determination as the Hawks: Can J.J. abandon the deliberate, ball-dominating offensive style he slid into with the Hawks? As bad it was at times with the Hawks, imagine how well Iso-Joe would play when D-Wade is option No. 1.

My feeling is the Hawks haven’t ruled out the possibility that J.J. can change his style if surrounded by the proper personnel and with some strong urging from the coach. He wasn’t Iso-Joe in Phoenix, after all. But neither was he The Man there, so it’s no certainty that he can modify his game.

MC

315 comments Add your comment

Melvin

May 12th, 2010
3:43 pm

I say he stays with the Hawks but we need to make improvements to the cast around him…

calibre lake dawg

May 12th, 2010
3:50 pm

IF JJ stays we need a big man so Al can get to his power forward spot where he belongs. If not I like Bosh….GT kid and it would be tuff to deny a starting line that has Josh, Al, and Bosh….Nasty…

See ya

May 12th, 2010
3:52 pm

Take Woody with you.

PMC

May 12th, 2010
3:53 pm

So why doesn’t he flirt with a few superstars and try to get them to come here?

All the pressure would be off of him if the Hawks can find an an A player and he could go back to putting in 22 pts routinely instead of 8, 12 or 15.

If he goes to Miami would he get max money?

G.I. Go Joe

May 12th, 2010
3:53 pm

dont let the door hit ya where God split ya joe. go get John Salmons instead.

EW

May 12th, 2010
3:55 pm

Joe should stay..I hate to say it but Josh Smith is a cancer on this team. I love his skills and athleticism but he has a terrible attitude and is a crybaby. I think he is at his max trade value now and we should move Josh and Marvin out for a big man..OR find somewhere for Jamal to go…

EW

May 12th, 2010
3:57 pm

I wish people would just stop throwing out names of ppl to get..it’s one thing to say who should go, but if you haven’t researched salary caps, contracts, etc…then throwing out a random name is a worthless comment..Half of the names that get thrown out there are not even possibilities.

jr

May 12th, 2010
3:59 pm

Enter your comments here

Rufus1

May 12th, 2010
3:59 pm

Lebron

If Lebron leaves the Cavs why wouldn’t he consider the Hawks. His supporting Cast would be better, we are a top 10 market and he already said he would like to play with Joe.

The Hawks won 53 games without Lebron, with Woodson as our coach and Bibby as our PG…we would be the favorite with him. We would provide the best supporting cast of any team he could consider.(2 Allstars and the 6th man of the year)

I KNOW WE DON’T HAVE THE CAP ROOM….BUT IF HE PLANS TO LEAVE ANYWAY, WE COULD WORK A SIGN AND TRADE.

RICK SUND would atleast have to try.

truthspitter

May 12th, 2010
4:00 pm

The people continuing to call for Salmons are a joke. There is a reason why he has been with 4 teams and always seems like he is expendable, because he has never been that important to a team. I’m cool with J.J. staying or leaving.

AJ GREENS NFL GOLD

May 12th, 2010
4:01 pm

J.J. hasnt shown anyone he is the player they need. His POOR performance in the playoffs was a sign that he’s only as good as the coach. With some help from other players and a new coach, he may be better for us next season

MannyT

May 12th, 2010
4:01 pm

The best attitude in free agency is one that has the following rules:

1. Go to a good situation. (Joe is a good 1st option. He’d be a great 2nd option. More likely to win if he’s not the best player on the team b/c #1 has to be really good.)

2. Optimize your pay. Not necessary to MAX pay if you have a great situation at almost MAX pay.

3. Be flexible on location. (If Utah is a good situation and good pay, learn to love the Salt Lake. It’s a temp job. I promise you won’t be forced to stay there for 20 years. You can even live elsewhere in the offseason.)

BWLFW

truthspitter

May 12th, 2010
4:02 pm

I agree with EW. Most of the names people through out are not even possible. The only name that is possible that makes sense for the Hawks going forward is Rudy Gay and most are not even mentioning him

Marcus

May 12th, 2010
4:03 pm

yeah, saw the tweet from Sekou’s Twitter account.
Seeing JJ 4 times a year with an ‘El Calor’ jersey won’t be pretty.
maybe Shaq’s ex-wife can sic some of her girls from B-ball wives on him.

Seriously, the big thing I took from the article is that he may be tired and worn out from the heavy lifting in ATL. It is now a “been there … done that” thing. He might be willing to do the Gary Payton thing (MIA ‘06) or what the Lakers attempted w/ Payton and Karl Malone. Even if he is willing to move to SF anywhere his free agency lands him (even if he wanted to come back to ATL), we are probably the worst-positioned team to add major component(s )to take a load off of him because most of our available dollars would be needed for him to stay and we won’t have the available cap space to grab a bigger headliner to be the No. 1.

I blog with more Heart

May 12th, 2010
4:05 pm

he never played like a number one option in Atlanta but asked for number one money, but will go to another team and TAKE number two money, which he should have took here, so we COULD have paid somebody with number one skills and been in it to win it, but he played us kicking that “I’m a number one Fella”

MannyT

May 12th, 2010
4:06 pm

@Rufus1–You are correct. Sund should make that call to Danny Ferry.

However, if I am Ferry I have to do the best for my team. That means not helping LeBron to leave. Not even hinting that I’m willing to help. If that all falls apart, I’d help him go to the western conference where I minimize the competition for my team to get to the finals.

If that doesn’t work, I want as much as I can get from your team to do a S&T. In the case of the Hawks, don’t even ring my phone until you are ready to give up Al Horford & Jeff Teague. (Both are still on their rookie deals.) I don’t want Josh because he costs too much. Hortford is close in talent at a significant discount.

BWLFW

Dap01

May 12th, 2010
4:07 pm

The vibes aren’t good.

Tech75

May 12th, 2010
4:08 pm

bye, Joe. Time for a change.

MannyT

May 12th, 2010
4:08 pm

@I blog–If the money is about the same, why not go where you have a better chance to win.

Look at it this way…if we could get Wade and keep JJ, would you want Sund to do that deal?

Case closed.

BWLFW

I blog with more Heart

May 12th, 2010
4:09 pm

MannyT

May 12th, 2010
4:08 pm
@I blog–If the money is about the same, why not go where you have a better chance to win.

Look at it this way…if we could get Wade and keep JJ, would you want Sund to do that deal?

Case closed.

BWLFW

as much as I don’t like it, agreed!

jr

May 12th, 2010
4:09 pm

sund needs to revaluate the whole team starting with Coach.
the team laid down against the Magic.No True Leader that can
demand respect from other guys.Woody your time is up You
got ATL rollin after the VERY BAD teams THANK YOU.These
guys needs a new leader

northcyde

May 12th, 2010
4:10 pm

Just like I said. Miami is going to go FULL THROTTLE after JJ . . . and they can do it WITHOUT doing a sign and trade for the dude. They’re going to renounce EVERYBODY, and try to bring JJ to Miami. I mean . . why give a division rival ANY PIECES, if they can just flat out sign them on their own?

skyhawk1

May 12th, 2010
4:10 pm

Why am I already tired of JJ? Let the guy go, NO team will offer him what he wants anyway.We all know he’s not a leader and simply doesn’t seem to care about the fans. I’m done with him since his comments after game 3. True professionals should behave as such. I want him gone.

bob

May 12th, 2010
4:14 pm

It was painfully obvious that Joe cannot be the #1 option for a team. He is better off becoming a Ray Allen (circa 2007-8) type sharp-shooter & taking feeds from other play-makers.
Too many teams have large salary gaps this summer, so ATL is likely to lose Joe for nothing, which sucks.
I say: sign a free agent spot-up shooter (in the Micheal Redd mold) & sign-n-trade for Bosh. The only un-touchable is Horford. Horford & Bosh frontline would be KILLER!

Hollywould

May 12th, 2010
4:14 pm

bye joe/ small forward yeah right/gotta play d too/he hasn’t done that yet.

Marcus

May 12th, 2010
4:15 pm

Actually based on thi slist from NBA fanhouse http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/04/06/top-50-2010-nba-free-agents/
I am kinda feeling Amir Johnson (PF, TOR), Anthony Morrow (SG, GS) and/or Ronnie Brewer (SG, MEM. None will single-handedly make up the scoring we lose from JJ, but all add defense.

Hawks73

May 12th, 2010
4:16 pm

Wow, I am completely amazed at how J.J thinks of himself to be an “elite player”…PLEASE!!!!!!!! If he wants to take his sorry, non-leader, apathetic a!!! to the Heat, then so be it. He is not worth the money the Hawks offered him last year and is now trying to drum up interest in a very pathetic way. This crazy ownership group were the same ones that overpaid to get J.J here and now he thinks he commands the market. This is what I say to you J.J…..BUH-BYE!!!!!!

PMC

May 12th, 2010
4:17 pm

It’s not like it’s the end of the world if he leaves… but seriously. Where do we find 20-30 pts a night at guard? If he leaves it just makes the dirth of talent at guard that much more glaring.

Thanks for that Billy Knight.

SecondSage

May 12th, 2010
4:17 pm

Get a clue,

If JJ is flirting with Miami, no way Wade is coming here, we’re up against South Beach, no state taxes (7% of 18,000,000???). Pat Riley is willing to do whatever to keep Wade, and may get JJ because he made it clear he’s a Robin, not Batman, and he’s perfectly fine with it.

The Atlanta Spirit Group doesn’t have the funds to lure someone down here.

I say we let Joe go, get a Big Man in the Draft, get Jeff Van Gundy, and hopefully draft high in 2011. Teague is our point guard, he just needs a coach who will give him minutes and development.

Don’t even talk about LeBron, no way will he be a Hawk.

PMC

May 12th, 2010
4:19 pm

Of course it would make Miami instantly better than the Hawks… but when you keep in mind that Joe can’t carry a team by himself and Dwayne Wade will be injured or dealing with issues 70% of the year…. maybe it’s not all that big a deal.

PaulieOldschool

May 12th, 2010
4:19 pm

I reiterate: if JJ is an elite player, then so am I. Elite players do not disappear when their team needs them the most. As one commentator said: the top players (Cousy, Russell, Reed, Havlicek, his Airness, Bird, even Shaq and Wilt) didn’t just want to win the big games, they HAD to win the big games. JJ is, at best, a second tier player. Just because he was the best (still debatable) on the Hawks doesn’t mean that he was part of the league’s elite. He needs to go and Woody needs to be carrying his bags.

ATLawk

May 12th, 2010
4:19 pm

Of course, he’s going to sign with Miami! He gets to play us several times a year and get the last laugh!

i_am_soulstar

May 12th, 2010
4:21 pm

I’m a huge proponent of JJ staying, but a sign-and-trade might not be a bad idea. If we can find a franchise with very good pieces that’s star-hungry…

I’d be with it.

CURIOUS

May 12th, 2010
4:21 pm

JJ is trying to pull a deon sanders courtship tour only problem is he is not a sanders like talent. he is good but not worth a contract that will keep the hawks right where they are now and cripple them for any future moves if resigning him to a max contract won’t cripple the hawks in the future then I am wrong and we should at least try to keep him .

mykhalc

May 12th, 2010
4:21 pm

JJ is lookin’ for a leader himself!!! he’ll land where he is NOT the #1 option. HAWKS need to find a leader to spend their max money on…whomever that may be.

mykhalc

May 12th, 2010
4:21 pm

new HC should be priority #1 for this team!!

DaveDawg

May 12th, 2010
4:23 pm

Flirt? Go CONSUMMATE it for the love of everything holy! Good riddance!

i_am_soulstar

May 12th, 2010
4:25 pm

And anyway, it’s just a rumor. Tell me one player in the league that wouldn’t feel the same way about an opportunity to play with Wade.

Besides, he’s likely #4 on their wish list.

1) Lebron James
2) Chris Bosh
3) Amare Stoudemire
4) Joe Johnson
5) Carlos Boozer

I blog with more Heart

May 12th, 2010
4:28 pm

Flo Johnson said he’s need a daddy in his life lol( he has offically switched genders)!!!!!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 12th, 2010
4:29 pm

Why is Josh getting a free pass here. Guy loafs and is called out by Horford and Hubie Brown. On top of that he can’t shoot, so he is only a 4. Get rid of Smith first and foremost and then maybe Johnson.

MannyT

May 12th, 2010
4:29 pm

For you folks on the I hate JJ after he dissed the fans thing…I get it. I cannot apologize for him, but I am over that deal. He was upset and few people like getting booed by the home fans. Making lots of money doesn’t mean that your feelings disappear…only your privacy ;-)

JJ earned his money on that 5 yr/ $70 mil deal he signed to come here when no one else would except for a few carpet baggers that wanted to steal money (Curry, Dampier). At that time he was a 4th option on a really good team. Joe doesn’t whine about calls, he played more/better perimeter D and O here than anyone else during the last 5 years.

This is probably his last big NBA contract. He’s positioning himself to get paid. Maybe it’s here; maybe it’s not. In order to maximize his earning power, he has to sell the willingness to leave even if he doesn’t want to go.

That’s his real job.

If you had one shot to get a big payday wouldn’t you keep an open mind with all the organizations that could potentially provide the big check?

We don’t have to like it, but we don’t have to be so bitter either. That’s your choice.

BWLFW

bob

May 12th, 2010
4:30 pm

PLEASE! Chris Bosh comw to Atlanta!

Gordon

May 12th, 2010
4:33 pm

Here’s a thought:

I’ve seen a lot of people mention that they’d like to see the Hawks improve at the PG position, with a point-guard who is ready to run the team at that position right now, and who is a quick/solid defender. As you know, good point guards are tough to find at the right price, but I see a very interesting situation involving the New Jersey Nets.

They’ll likely be getting John Wall with the first round pick, and unless they want to waste Wall’s high potential, they’ll be playing him large minutes from the start, meaning they won’t have a huge need for Devin Harris anymore. Harris is still young, has good height for the PG position, is a sold play-maker and good scorer at the PG position. There are no glaring flaws in Harris’s game, and he’d be a huge upgrade over Bibby and Teague both.

So, if by some miracle, Joe would be interested in going to New Jersey, the Hawks might be able to work out a sign and trade that sends Joe to New Jersey for Devin Harris and Courtney Lee. Think about it, the Nets would probably love to have Joe. They haven’t had someone at the SG position who could create their own shot since they lost Vince Carter to the Magic. Also, with Terrence Williams looking like a rising talent in New Jersey, Lee’s minutes would probably decrease substantially next season, and I’m sure New Jersey would not be too hesitant to part with him.

Lee is tremendous young talent. He hasn’t flourished yet offensively, but he’s one of the best young defenders at the SG position and has shown that he can contribute immediately at the starting SG position, as he played a large role in the Magic’s run last post-season. With Lee and Harris, the Hawks could improve defensively on the perimeter, and gain in terms of quickness, athleticism, and longterm backcourt potential.

We could then potentially start Devin Harris and Courtney Lee together in the backcourt, giving Lee the role of guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player, leaving Harris with a more potent offensive play-making and scoring role. I think that both of these guys could flourish in a structured offensive system, and are readily coachable, although young. Plus, provided that we keep Jamal Crawford, we’d still have a nice scoring punch at the SG position to bring in off the bench if needed, while Harris is resting. Additionally, we could give Teague consistent minutes behind Harris to see what he can do, and I think Teague would benefit much more in his development from scrimmaging with Harris and Lee than he would from scrimmaging with Bibby.

This seems like a nice trade in terms of value and it doesn’t involve getting in any long-term salary holes. The only problem is that we’d still have Bibby, resulting in a log-jam at the PG position. Also, Bibby’s contract is a bit too hefty for a 3rd-string PG. For that reason, it would be ideal if we could include Bibby in the package with JJ to New Jersey. I’m sure New Jersey would not mind that too much. Bibby could help mentor the young John Wall, and provide New Jersey with solid, limited backup minutes.

I just thought I’d throw that out there. Let me know what you guys think.

SaintSimons

May 12th, 2010
4:35 pm

i say we trade up and get john wall and then sign bosh and release bibby and joe. and get avery johnson. then we will be contenders

Marvin is a Melvin

May 12th, 2010
4:38 pm

I actually think the Melvin, Marvin, can still be really good. However, if we can get Bosh with a sign & trade using Marvin/Smoove as bait, I say take it.
Sign Childress to be our starting 3

Richham

May 12th, 2010
4:39 pm

I’m sorry but after hearing his comments about the heat, especially his stance about taking a back seat and being the second or third option on a team, you can’t possible consider giving this guy big money let alone a max contract.

You pay max contracts for stars, not sidekick wannabe’s. He doesn’t want to be the leader of this team. Time to move on! I don’t care if it hurts the team.

The Dogfighter Returns

May 12th, 2010
4:40 pm

Does JJ know how to smile? :) Bring on Anthony Morrow he will be better than JJ and show some fire.

Hawks 2011 Roster

May 12th, 2010
4:40 pm

Don’t re-sign Joe Johnson this should be the team for next season.

PG Steve Blake/Rafer Alston
SG John Salmons/Jamal Crawford
SF Chris Bosh/Josh Smith
PF Al Horford/Udonis Haslem
C David Lee/Brad Miller

Marvin is a Melvin

May 12th, 2010
4:42 pm

lay off the drugs, hawks 2011 Roster

northcyde

May 12th, 2010
4:46 pm

For those of you who haven’t listened to the Hubie Brown interview on ESPN AM 680 in Atlanta, you realy need to check that out on their website. He talks in depth about the Hawks and what went wrong with this team.

It is a MUST LISTEN TO for all TRUE Hawks fans. Even AJC sportswriters.