Atlanta Hawks: Package Deal for J.J., LeBron and D-Wade?

Will D-Wade, Joe, and LeBron break bread to decide their futures?

Will D-Wade, Joe, and LeBron break bread to decide their futures?

So D-Wade seemed to suggest that he’s not down with signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls. His reasoning–that the Bulls don’t seem to be loyal to their former players–seems a bit suspect, but whatever.

The more interesting nugget for the Hawks is Wade’s contention that he, Le Bron and J.J. will sit down prior to July 1 and discuss their free-agency strategy before making decisions. From the Chicago Tribune’s Fred Mitchell:

“(Free agency) has been three years coming. We’ve discussed it prematurely, at different times. (But) you don’t know what guys are thinking and where they’re going. I think we’ll all sit down, and before one of us makes a decision, all of us will have spoken to each other and (listened to the) thinking. A lot of decisions (will be based on) what other players are willing to do and what other guys want to do. So it’s not just a ‘me’ situation here. We all have to look and see what each other is thinking.”

The first thing I thought was, Bosh won’t be a part of that discussion? I mean, Wade, J.J. LeBron are all perimeter guys who dominate the ball yet they are going to try to figure out if they can all end up at the same place while Bosh, a power forward, isn’t included? Sorry, that’s more suspect reasoning by Wade.

More to the point, I don’t buy the notion that these guys are going to make decisions based on “what other guys want to do.” Free agents make decisions based on straight cash, homey. It is the ultimate “me” situation, as it should be.

Yeah, winning is nice as long as the money is right, and no guy wants to be in a completely miserable situation. Considering all the teams with beacoup cap space, it’s plausible that two of these guys can play for the same team and still get their money. But the next time I see a player in his prime give up substantial money for the chance to play with a certain other player, it will be the first time.

– AJC wise guy Jeff Schultz digs through Rick Sund’s coaching hires and is not impressed.

Interesting that Sund had a Woody-like situation in Dallas, with Dick Motta improving the team each season but never getting the Mavs past the second round (the difference being that Motta already was a proven head coach). Sund then brought in pedigreed coach, John McLeod, and fired him less than two years after making the West finals.

So maybe Sund isn’t too high on the “proven head coach” angle. Or, looking at Schult’z list, maybe it’s just that Sund’s never had much success hiring coaches, period.

Avery Johnson is set to interview with the Nets, who can offer a better situation than first meets the eye.

Forget their 12-70 record for a minute and notice New Jersey can clear $30 million or so in cap space, has a mega-rich owner who intends to spend big, and boasts former Avery protege Devin Harris at point guard and a pretty good core of young players. Oh, the Nets also have the No. 3 pick, where they could get Derrick Favors, Evan Turner or DeMarcus Cousins.

The Hawks are a better team right now but the Nets can’t be discounted. If Johnson wants to take on the challenge of building a talented young team while making a lot of cash (and getting some media shine) in the process, Jersey is a good spot. Nets boss Rod Thorn said he will talk to four to six candidates.

MC

100 comments Add your comment

Melvin

May 27th, 2010
9:25 am

I have a feeling that all 3 will resign with their current teams and it will be one or more of the bigs (Boozer, Bosh) relocating this summer.

Dekaturkingz

May 27th, 2010
9:26 am

Go Hawks Let J.J Walk.

highpoweredoffense

May 27th, 2010
9:27 am

WELL ALMOST!

highpoweredoffense

May 27th, 2010
9:30 am

YEP! JOE GOTTA GO! WE NEED A BIG MAN! CANT WIN TITLE WITHOUT A BIG MAN PERIOD!

coachx

May 27th, 2010
9:33 am

Keep JJ and draft a big or use the MLE to get the best big you can get.

JC

May 27th, 2010
9:35 am

Which one of these is not like the other: Bron, JJ, Wade? (Hint: 2006 NBA Champions).

Mike Woodson

May 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Dear rich Russian billionaire,

I am looking for a job! I can take a team from a 13 win season too! I am looking for my eyebrows as well, anybody find those laying around Phillips?

I MUS WRITE

May 27th, 2010
10:24 am

Its no suprise that JJ is looking to team up with a true super star next year. Thats his role wing man,he’ll grab the money and play number 2 his game is’nt designed to carry a team as we have all seen. Im not that concerned about him leaving for some reason.

dap01

May 27th, 2010
10:25 am

The NBA free agents are the poster children for “me, me, me, me” generation.

I am tired of them all.

Give me a player with guts who don’t choke in the playoffs!

I would rather talk about the options that the Hawks have and not what options Wade, the king or JJ have.

G-Money

May 27th, 2010
10:25 am

I will be so happy when this nonsense about free agency is over with. Oh how I miss the days of Bird, Magic, Jordan etc. Those guys would never entertain the thought of leaving their original team, if something was missing the belief was that management along with their improved performances as players would fix it. Now you have these prima donnas trying to suck up all of the media attentiopn with the speculation of where will they end up next? I wish them all well, however I for on will be ecstatic when this charade comes to an end.

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 27th, 2010
10:29 am

Isn’t it a plausible angle that a team with cap room to sign two of the free agents could also sign another one on a one-year deal for the mid-level and then re-sign them the following year to a max deal since that team could max-out over the cap for a player already on their roster?

MC – I know you went through a detailed free agency angle last week, but this was an area that (I don’t believe) was covered. I’m sure blog regular niremetal – who has a good cap understanding might now. Big Ray might as well.

Additional plausibility to the above is JJ’s statement that he might take less money to play with a marque name. While three high-profile back-court players wouldn’t seem likely to go in together, I imagine the Knicks or Nets wouldn’t complain about running those three (or two of the three) out there. Plus, those three guys have – save Shaq in Miami – never had a top-tier running mate.

Finally, this brings up an interesting thought that I’m sure will be quickly doused, but players scream collusion with they think teams are conspiring together. Now three top-tier player (four if you include Bosh) are doing the same thing. I wonder if an owner(s) will make a point of this. It’s a free market, so turnabout is fair play.

Section 303

May 27th, 2010
10:34 am

Not sure what Joe Johnson’s role will be in that meeting with D-Wade and LeBron. Is Joe responsible for filling their drinks? Clearing the table? What? He couldn’t hold a candle to either guy on the court.

Count me in the group that is really, really sick of hearing about LeBron and D-Wade and where they might or might not be headed. I tend to think that both guys will leave their teams, but don’t give a sh#t what either does.

BravesFan79

May 27th, 2010
10:40 am

Wade is 100% RIGHT!! Why would any long time fan of the Bulls wanna go back and play after what the stupid owner did to Michael/ Pippen and that group by forcing them out!?? I hope Lebron goes to Chicago, and never wins anything.

blord

May 27th, 2010
10:42 am

It’s frustrating. Atlanta would be a perfect spot of these guys (except JJ) and as a city has so much to offer. The problem the Hawks have is the same problem they have always had…ownership. It seems like we have been saying we need a big and a point guard for 8 years now.

Khao$

May 27th, 2010
10:52 am

Folks, Wade, James, and JJ are planning on duplicating what Garnett, Allen and Pierce have in Boston. It is as clear as day. All three of them seemed slightly blase about being booted out of the playoffs. They want to make history. I tell ya, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been talking about this all year on the low.

jlewis

May 27th, 2010
10:58 am

Regardless of what many on this blog think, JJ is highly regarded around the league and with players and coaches. Look at the body of work, the Hawks do not have much talent and no bench, because you were drafted high does not make you a good player. When it’s all said and done, Woody will get more credit than you guys realize. I do agree it was time for him to go, because some players he could do nothing with.

Astro Joe

May 27th, 2010
10:58 am

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. It feels like these guys have no desire to compete against each other. They aren’t looking to battle for a title. This would have been like Ewing opting to join the Bulls instead of trying to win with the Knicks. Or Reggie Miller giving up on the Pacers and looking to join the Bulls band-wagon. It’s one thiing when Payton and Malone join the Lakers at the end of their career, it’s another when you are in your prime and you QUIT on your existing team.

Meanwhile, you can’t hate on Joe for understanding his limitations. He’s not a future HOF trying to lead his team up the hill. So I excuse him. LeBron and Wade? Not so much.

I bet you Kobe read this article and gagged in his mouth. And then he smiled and thought “none of those guys will ever win 4 rings.

Astro Joe

May 27th, 2010
11:02 am

Khao$, KG and Allen were traded to Boston. And they were traded toward the end of their respective careers. At least they each spent 8-10 years trying to reach the promised land before giving up on doing it by themselves. Here’s my guess… if these guys come together and a team punches them in the face, they will fold like a paper-bully in the school yard. I hope Kobe and Artest are the ones throwing that punch.

JeJe

May 27th, 2010
11:02 am

All we hear about is Wade/LBJ + Bosh to Chicago, Miami, or NYK.

Why is there nothing about JJ wanting to bring Bosh or Wade or LBJ here?
SPEND THE MONEY AND STOP ACTING LIKE RESIGNING JOE WILL BRING US A RING BECAUSE IT WON’T. THIS ROSTER HAS GONE AS FAR AS IT CAN GO

Khao$

May 27th, 2010
11:13 am

Astro Joe, I understand how the components came together in Boston. However, in theory (with a different approach…FA), I believe JJ, Wade and Lebron are looking to do the same thing. It’s been proven in Boston, then three stars can put their egos aside, they can win a ring. They’ve all made their money. They all have fame (with JJ being the exception). Something doesn’t smell right about Wade saying, “the three of us will get together.” What’s that supposed to mean?

Astro Joe

May 27th, 2010
11:22 am

Khao$, it means (IMO) that they are looking for the path of least resistance. It means that instead ofwaiting in linem they are trying to cut the line. It means that instaed of fighting through (like the Bad Boys did with Boston, the Bulls did witht he Bad Boys, etc) that they want to stack the deck in their favor and immediately become the big dog on the block.

And (IMO) it means that none of them are true basketball warriors. They probably said at ne point “what if we had this Olympic team in the NBA, we’d break all the records and would win 5 straight titles” and a silly dream was borne. They need to wake-up and man-up.

BigTimeTECHFan

May 27th, 2010
11:23 am

I would love to see them all together on an East conf team, say NJ Nets, they can have Bosh also. Then ATL hire Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn to coach and turn ATL into Bad Boys 2. Problem is I don’t see any Rodman’s or Isiah’s in the league

jlewis

May 27th, 2010
11:24 am

Astro Joe

I agree with you on some points, but JJ, Wade now and LBJ do not have the supporting cast Kobe has had. Artest hasnt won anything and he is getting served up in these playoffs. All this you win with a superstar talk is not valid, no team has won, except Detroit, without at least three.

Westurd

May 27th, 2010
11:27 am

Hawks and Rings can not be in the same discussion for the next few years? Us Hawks fans are a little delusional about our past, present and future.

Jesse

May 27th, 2010
11:50 am

From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense for the 3 stars to discuss with eachother what they are doing. C w/deadjournalist is right, it is collusion, and collusion makes economic sense if you can get away with it. While all 3 will probably get max deals, this type of communication will allow any one of them to call a team’s bluff if any team says they have one of the other players virtually locked up.

Michael Cunningham

May 27th, 2010
11:56 am

@deadjounalist (the best kind?): “Isn’t it a plausible angle that a team with cap room to sign two of the free agents could also sign another one on a one-year deal for the mid-level and then re-sign them the following year to a max deal since that team could max-out over the cap for a player already on their roster?”

two issues with that plan. one is that you are asking the one guy who presumably has a market for his services to play for much less than his market value for one year with no promise of long-term security. second is that after the one year the team wouldn’t have that player’s Bird of Early Bird rights, which require three and two years with the team, respectively. so the max deal they could offer the player the next year would be significantly less than what that player could get as a Bird rights guy this summer.

hope that makes sense.

Ramon

May 27th, 2010
11:59 am

Funny, any team with Lebron, Wade, and JJ still doesn’t beat the 90s Bulls, the 80s Lakers/Celtics, or even the early Shaq/Kobe. This is quite funny. I will say if I was Lebron or Wade I’d be trying to pull weight and see if Rudy Tomjanovich is healthy enough to come back to coaching!

Ramon

May 27th, 2010
12:04 pm

By the way, I would’ve loved to see Pippen or KG (in their prime) guard Lebron for a game/series. I think they would’ve gotten the best of him repeatedly!

Swingman912

May 27th, 2010
12:09 pm

It is a “me first” thing, but ego get pushed aside when it comes to guys being the go to guys on thier team and being booted in the playoffs in consecutive seasons. These dudes wanna win. Money does matter, but if you’re already rich(which all of them are), that O’brien trophy starts to matter more and more. So much that ego’s, and money, gets pushed to the side. All of these guys have said they can play with other All-Stars. JJ even said he’s willing to be the second option(which he would be on a team with LBJ or Dwade). The question is, who’s gonna pay for those three? better yet, who CAN pay for those three??????CHUUUUUUUUUUUCH

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 27th, 2010
12:11 pm

MC – (actually @_deadjournalist on twitter, ha)

I assumed Bird rights had a complicating factors; so thanks for a the clarification. While I’m sure sign-and-trades might also factor in as options – there’s probably no point going down that road.

It’s fascinating to watch unfold. Not necessarily in a good way for Hawks fans.

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 27th, 2010
12:12 pm

ignore the two extra “a”’s – i’ve always been horrible copy editor

Ramon

May 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

@ Swingman, Orlando has THREE players (as does Boston) who makes more than what these three salary will be next season.

eturn

May 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

Send JJ packing..The Hawks are a more running team….not JJ style of play…he is dribble.. dribble dribble back you down..slow style of play.. Cya Joe

hawks poop

May 27th, 2010
12:18 pm

The hawks have to resign joe. I know he floped it up during the playoffs but his supporting cast was just as flat. Teagues going to take the ball out of his hands next year. Not as the scorer but the true pg. We need to use the midlevel to get a 7 ftr. And. Have bibby craw williams and zaza on the bench. But that doesn’t fix everything. The hawks need a coach with a rep for toughness.

And we still need some more solid bench pieces w size and mobility unlike collins.

Still even if we lose joe w take a step back for a year but teague will be able to develop a little faster and well need to go for a scorer next summer. Especially when bibbys contract becomes more tradeable. The futures bright either way.

GO HAWKS!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 27th, 2010
12:20 pm

Like I’ve said before, don’t believe a word out of any of these players’ mouths before they sign on the dotted line. Everything they say now is posturing.

John

May 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

Let Joe Johnson go and Trade Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Jeff Teaque to Memphis for Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay and Jamaal Tinsley.

j. naismith

May 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

this proves that players need a strong coach, as they are not capable of thinking either on their own or in a group.

wantawinner

May 27th, 2010
12:33 pm

If anything actually believes that these three will be here playing for Atlanta, I’ve got some beach property in Utah that I would like to speak to you about!

terrell

May 27th, 2010
12:36 pm

Blah blah blah!

insane packer mauler

May 27th, 2010
12:46 pm

jerry reinsdorf is a world class owner who has brought many rings to chicago and the people will love Labron and stick with him forever period.

Steve

May 27th, 2010
12:48 pm

Its articles like this which is why nobody takes the AJC or its writers seriously

OK

May 27th, 2010
12:50 pm

Steve, The article is on ESPN. You take them seriously?

Ramon

May 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

Steve, this same article was posted on ESPN.com so what are you speaking of? And if a few of AJC writers have gone on to end up with national media gigs, that must mean there are many out there who takes AJC sports seriously. (ask Chad Ford).

JeJe

May 27th, 2010
1:09 pm

THERE’S NEVER ANYTHING ABOUT BRINGING A WADE OR LBJ HERE

THE ASG ARE A FREAKING BROKE JOKE OF A GROUP. LET’S JUST OVERPAY JOE AND REMAIN A 50 WIN ATHLETIC TEAM THAT DOES NOTHING IN THE PLAYOFFS…GREAT

AND CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT SUND HAS DONE BESIDES THE CRAWFORD TRADE? HE DRAFTED THE 7TH BEST PG, 2ND ROUND GOT SOME EURO STIFF WHO WILL NEVER BE IN THE NBA, AND HAS KEPT OUR GODDAMN CORE TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH IT’S OBVIOUS IT’S NOT WORKING OUT AGAINST GREAT TEAMS

ON TOP OF THAT, THIS ARROGANT MORON HAS THE TEMERITY TO CLAIM THAT HE DOESN’T CARE WE GOT DESTROYED BY ORLANDO BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF BLOWOUT LOSSES BY OTHER TEAMS

FIRE SUND

O'Brien

May 27th, 2010
1:24 pm

The Big 3 in Boston was able to work because 1) they had a good PG to deliver the ball 2) They can play off each other.

LbJ, Wade, and JJ are all accustomed to having the ball in their hands a lot. And without a good pass first PG, I don’t know how that would work.

Plus KG helped out on defense and rebounding, and the big 3 play 3 very different positions. One could argue that LeBron, JJ and Wade would be 3 players for 2 positions. SG and SF. So I will not put any stock in what these players are saying, because its all just talk.

On another note, we’ve talked about retread coaches, but how do you guys feel about a retread GM? This is Sund’s 4th GM job (he was fired or not resigned from 3 previous jobs in Dallas, Detroit, and Seattle). And looking at his coaching hires, how confident are we in his ability to pick the right guy?

Paul Hewitt

May 27th, 2010
1:27 pm

I can bring Lebron here. Have you seen my offense? Same as the Hawks.

HawkKingBibby

May 27th, 2010
1:38 pm

Id rather beat Lebron than have Lebron come here. He is arrogant and doesnt respect the game. Actually he thinks he is the game even though he hasnt won squat. Im glad Dwest did what he did, lol. Lebron deserves that.

drmaryb

May 27th, 2010
1:38 pm

Steve

This story line broke on ESPN last night! I posted this story on the last blog last night.
This is NOT an AJC Writer’s Story at all!!!!!!!!!

ThreeBlindMice

May 27th, 2010
1:39 pm

Man WTF do these dudes think they are??? ” Im a very Loyal person” Yeah Wade tell that to your ex wife and ex buisness partners. Lebron is called “King” and hasnt won a damn thing. Joe just wants to get PAID! Yeah they are trying to gang up to win a Title. If its not YOUR fate its not gonna happen man no matter how much money you spend.

Mike S

May 27th, 2010
1:47 pm

When Owners get together and discuss Free Agency and their plans it is called “Collusion” and lawsuits are filed.

How is what James, JJ, Wade and Bosh are doing any different?