Atlanta Hawks: J.J. to Mavs, Knicks, Bulls, Rockets . . . or Hawks?

Is there cash in that boot?

Is there cash in that boot?

Another day, another Joe Johnson rumor.

This time it’s Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reporting that the Mavericks are interested in acquiring J.J. They are over the salary cap, so the only way to do that would be through a sign-and-trade agreement. That means J.J. would have to want to play for the Mavs and Dallas and Atlanta would have to come to an agreement on a trade.

The key line in Wojnarowski’s story is this: “Johnson is determined to get the sixth guaranteed season on a contract that could only come with re-signing in Atlanta or a sign-and-trade arrangement, sources say.” This is along the lines of what I’ve been saying all along, that guys just don’t leave $25-$30 million on the table. The signals being sent out by J.J,’s camp are clear: If Atlanta offers the most cash, Johnson will re-sign. If not, he will look elsewhere. What’s not clear is if the Hawks are willing to pay J.J. the max if that’s what it takes to keep him.

The thing to remember when all of these stories leak (in addition to the fact that leakers always have an agenda) is that no one knows for sure what J.J. is going to do. Last week the word was J.J. was ready to make an early commitment to Chicago. Then he was willing to take less cash to play for the Knicks. Now the latest is that he really wants a sign-and-trade, and perhaps he will look at Dallas (or Houston, as an enticement for Bosh to also sign there).

The AJC’s Mark Bradley asks if Atlanta wants J.J. back and that’s a good question. He mentions how the city of Cleveland has pretty much begged LeBron to come back. Bradley is talking about the fans, but it also seems the Hawks organization has been relatively subdued in its public recruitment of J.J. as compared to the teams of other top free agents.

In Miami, for instance, the Heat have gone all out to show the love for D-Wade. There’s been no reason to guess if the Heat wants D-Wade and if they will pay the max to make it happen. You can say that’s because it’s a no-brainer for Miami to pay D-Wade the max, and you would be correct. However, the Heat also went crazy for Udonis Haslem, who is a good player but not a star.

Hawks management, meanwhile, has been pretty quiet in regards to J.J. Soon after the season ended GM Rick Sund said the Hawks will do all they can to re-sign J.J. and has repeated that statement a couple times. But that’s been about it as far as public pleadings for J.J. by Atlanta’s brass. That hasn’t changed even as all these stories surface suggesting that other teams are ready to make aggressive pushes for J.J.

Anyway, we will soon see how it all plays out. I’m sticking with my belief that J.J. will re-sign with the Hawks if they offer the most money. They are still in control of this process.

MC

278 comments Add your comment

nobody

June 28th, 2010
1:18 pm

Sign and trade with one of the texas teams works for me

Gamer

June 28th, 2010
1:20 pm

Joe Johnson in the back-court with D. Rose would be a monster tandem!!!

yoursporthouse.com

June 28th, 2010
1:21 pm

Let Joe go, bring in Rudy Gay.

Big A

June 28th, 2010
1:23 pm

sign and trade with dallas- deal johnson, marvin williams, and josh smith for roddy beabois caron butler and brendan haywood

UGA Girls are Dawgs

June 28th, 2010
1:26 pm

JJ is definitely not worth the maximum – that should only be reserved for players who can bring in a championship, and I don’t think JJ fits that bill. Over the past 2-3 seasons he has had about as good a supporting cast as he could get and will get anywhere else (if he is the main man) and we got blown out in the second round the last two years. I know folks out there will say he would be lethal with someone like LeBron in the lineup, but then he would be part of LeBron’s supporting cast and not the main man, and so would not command max money either.
Either way, I think we have reached the ceiling with JJ, and either need to look at another superstar as the corner stone, or simply rebuild with what we have

Kgbsfinst

June 28th, 2010
1:26 pm

How many people in the league would have thrived in the “ISO JOE” offensive. I cant name five people in the entire NBA. Before we throw JJ under the bus anymore, maybe we should look at what he does. Hes a 6′8 shooting guard that plays D, who can handle the rock, isnt afraid to take the big shot, and can take over games. I know he didnt do well in the playoffs, but with the horendous coaching we had, JJ could have averaged 35 and we STILL lose by double digits.

I for one would love JJ to sign back with this team, with an offense that can use the unique abilities that our players have. Hopefully that means JJ starts to be a shooter some of the time, and not just a scorer (kind of like when he was in PHX and had one of the best 3pt. %) let Al and Josh use their quickness against bigger and slower big men, let Teague play, JC do what he does, and maybe even figure out an offensive role for Marvin.

Like my question before name me how many players in the NBA that have JJ’s skill set.

Clint

June 28th, 2010
1:27 pm

Who do you think the Hawks would get in return from Dallas?

I MUS WRITE

June 28th, 2010
1:32 pm

Ill be glad when this free agent frenzy is over,its getting to be overkill. JJ is a good second teir player not a player you invest max money in IMO…… Also he is very thin skinned-his comments to the fans were unacceptable and I cant blame those who want him gone.

When your best player /leader??? is a no show two consecutive years in the Playoffs what are the fans to do applaud? I thinks not-see ya JJ its been real,you were a good player for the hawks but its time to part ways. Go be the true #2 that you are living in Lebron or Wades shadow…

Do a S&T with NY, JJ for Lee/T Douglas Then make a play for Rudy Gay and trade ZAZA to Dallas for Haywood or use the draft rights to Chillz for Mcgee and we would be okay for next year -Line up looks as such….

Starters-Teague,Ja.Creawford,Rudy Gay,Smoove,Horford/Lee

Bench-Bibby,Jordan Crawford,Chillz,Marvin,Haywood,T Douglas,R Morris,G Siler

Jamal as a starter will average between 18-21 per game so the loss of JJ wont hurt as much as sum think,we will miss his defense though, but like I said its time to move on

“I expect that from I.MUS WRITE”…..Come on MC,so now you’re doing stand up comedy huh? Its cool go ahead and take jabs i dont mind at all……………..

Grandad

June 28th, 2010
1:35 pm

MC:

Can you do a S&T the way M.Bradley proposed?
A *double S&T* with Haywood involved.
*under the CBA*???

Matt

June 28th, 2010
1:35 pm

Rudy Gay? In the 2006 draft, we could have gotten Rajon Rondo!

Ramon

June 28th, 2010
1:36 pm

From last blog…

@ MC, Joe’s agent must be on some good medication if he thinks Serta is going to pay Joe $25 million just to take naps on their mattresses. I could see a line of commercials now, each one just showing Joe sleep and snoring lol. Coming in during halftime hyped from a game, sits down on the Serta, and just instantly starts snoring and drooling at the mouth.

D Hawks

June 28th, 2010
1:43 pm

I’m very hesitant about giving J.J. a six year commitment. This would give him 5 years over the age of 30. If we have the additional money to go get a big man and a solid veteran PG to make a run at whoever the other powers in the East are next season after free agency, then by all means I want him back. However, if we are still going to have the same core 7 as last year, it’s not worth the money. We’d be better off pursuing a sign-and-trade.

HawkKingBibby

June 28th, 2010
1:43 pm

You forgot that L.A. reporter who says the reason Joe is in L.A. is to sign with Arm Tellums buddy who is the Clippers GM.

Grandad

June 28th, 2010
1:44 pm

Coulda / Woulda / shoulda !
Can you spell ad nauseam !

If Memphis does not re-sign RG,
then we certainly cannot afford him.

Clayton Crowe

June 28th, 2010
1:45 pm

As much as I love Joe Johnson and would hate to see him go, he isn’t worth a max level deal and the Hawks would further restrict their salary cap over the coming years if they sign him to one.

That being said, I only believe that 2 players are worth max deals this year (even though 5-6 people may get them) and that’s Lebron and D-Wade.

I’ll take a sign and trade for Joe if he is commanding a max deal. I like the Caron-Haywood duo for Joe but I wish people would stop throwing Marvin Williams into every deal. He’s a decent defender who could be a very viable offensive option given the chance.

I would look to Houston and see what they offer up as well. I’ll take Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry for Joe and Bibby.

hmmm.........

June 28th, 2010
1:48 pm

Even if we keep him we’d still need a center. So if resign him can we trade marvin, chills rights, for a decent big man?

J from the A

June 28th, 2010
1:50 pm

Too many rumors to take any of them seriously at this point.

But here is what Horford says/wants:

Horford thinks Joe will stay (and wants Joe to stay), but Horford also want the Hawks to bring in a legit center. Does Horford want a starting center to move in? Would Horford be happy with a quality center as a back up to him? I think both. Horford would probably prefer to start at the 4, but I think he would be more than happy if the Hawks just acquired a legit backup center. That would give the Hawks much needed depth, and it would give Horford the opportunity to play some at the 4.

But I guess the real question is: How can the Hawks afford to both resign Joe and acquire a quality center? If the Hawks can pull this off, well, then the pieces should be there to make a run at the Eastern Conference championship. … I just don’t see how the Hawks can make both of these things happen. (It has little to do with being “cheap”; it’s called the salary cap.)

And what about Horford’s comment about team chemistry? He claims that the lack of chemistry is what led to the Hawks’ embarrassing second round. But that is a topic for another time.

Playground taunt

June 28th, 2010
1:52 pm

Joe Johnson is not a max contract player. He’s a nice piece, but not a player to build around. In fact, the Hawks are not built around him. And, if the ASG signs him to six years for max money, the team is handcuffed for years in its ability to build. Just say “No,” to Joe.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
1:53 pm

@HawkKingBibby: “You forgot that L.A. reporter who says the reason Joe is in L.A. is to sign with Arm Tellums buddy who is the Clippers GM.”

Indeed. So throw Clips in there, too. Heck, might as well.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
1:53 pm

@ Ramon: Funny. From what I can tell, Joe has never really liked the whole marketing thing. He really is a low-key dude.

Mr. Phil

June 28th, 2010
1:54 pm

I stand pack. I absolutely, categorically, without reservation DO NOT WANT JOE JOHNSON BACK IN ATLANTA. And I think I represent alot of people in saying that. Check my twitter (@number2sucks) or my website (number2sucks.com).

I would rather the Hawks lose every game next season then to have this ungrateful, spoiled, turncoat, pretend leader and fake all star be apart of any effort representing the city I hold dearest.

I for one will never forget and never forgive you Joe Schmoe. Until the day they lower you in the ground I will hate your guts!

D Hawks

June 28th, 2010
1:55 pm

I think this is going to be an overpriced market starting July 1. The Hawks are better served to react to the market rather than jumping in and committing too early to overpay JJ. I expect Sund to kind of watch things unfold first. I would be very surprised to see the Hawks give JJ a full max deal just because the market on Thursday becomes a feeding frenzy for overpaying 2nd tier talent. LeBron and Wade are the only franchise players in this class. If JJ gets a max offer from someone, then I expect and hope the Hawks would be able to work a sign-and-trade.

Victor

June 28th, 2010
1:55 pm

The Hawks have a legit backup center, his name is Zaza Pachulia.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
1:56 pm

@ Grandad: “MC: Can you do a S&T the way M.Bradley proposed?
A *double S&T* with Haywood involved.
*under the CBA*???”

not sure exactly what you mean by “double S&T.” there can be two separate S & T agreements, but such transactions can only involve two players.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
1:57 pm

@ I Mus Write: “Ill be glad when this free agent frenzy is over,its getting to be overkill.”

yep.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
1:58 pm

@Clint: not sure. don’t recall seeing any stories suggesting who they are willing to put on the block.

Mr. Phil

June 28th, 2010
1:59 pm

Now that I have that off my chest. A sign and trade with Dallas would be great.

jroc

June 28th, 2010
1:59 pm

Be patient hawks fans and don’t worry about those rumors, lets see if Sund and ASG are going to poney-up to get their man.

J from the A

June 28th, 2010
2:02 pm

@Victor: I like Zaza, and I guess in *some* sense, he is a legit backup center. But we need a bigger body, a better defender to put down there. We need a big man in the rotation that is better than Zaza. The problem is that Zaza is currently the Hawks only legit option off the bench … on a quality team with depth at the 4 and 5 Zaza should not be the 1st legit option off the bench, let alone the only legit option off the bench.

Doug Cain

June 28th, 2010
2:03 pm

Thank you ‘Kgbsfinst’ very well said. Our first priority should be to sign Joe back. If we don’t do that, no matter what realistic trade possibilities exist, we will become a worse team than we are with Joe Johnson. Plain and simple. New coach, new offensive scheme should do wonders. A little help defense and the Hawks should be successful. The worst thing we can do is to ‘rebuild’ again. This entire group hasn’t been together over 3 full seasons and ATL Hawks fans are talking about starting over again? Please.

BrittishAnger

June 28th, 2010
2:04 pm

Al Horford for Captain 2010/2011…

bigdave

June 28th, 2010
2:05 pm

get er’ done Sund and ASG!!!

Another GM

June 28th, 2010
2:06 pm

Joe will be shooting jumpers for Atlanta next year and the vet backup C will be Kurt Thomas. Case closed fellas.

Rondo

June 28th, 2010
2:08 pm

Hey MC sorry for the beat down you all received on saturday. I told you to beware of the Black Stars of Ghana! Anyway…The other day i gave a suggestion on how to get the true scoop on what JJ is going to do. Remember i told you to find JJ’s fat uncles and feed them and they will talk, any success on that yet. REmember MC….. Break the story first MC and you get one more step to getting the wise guys chair.

wesleywhatwhat

June 28th, 2010
2:12 pm

correct me if i’m wrong, but a sign and trade deal means we get a player(s) back in return, right?

who/what is rumored to be out there on the mavs, knicks, bulls, etc?

Rondo

June 28th, 2010
2:20 pm

Saw a story on Sports South yesterday featuring Joe Johnson when he first came to Atl..The cat was talking about how humble he is and how he came from humble backgrounds and how he would play b-ball for peanuts. Make all those comments come true that you said a few years ago jj. The hawks let you flourish into a star and respected player in the nba dude now what are you going to do now buddy.

ToeKnee

June 28th, 2010
2:20 pm

I think the billboards for Wade and Haslem are a weird marketing ploy, they’re there to show the fans the Heat are comitted, but I could easily see them trading Haslem after he signs to help them get a Bosh or Boozer, I don’t think the Heat are really that serious about “OH GOD WE MUST KEEP UDONIS HASLEM!!” It’s a marketing thing that makes them look good, but they are just playing cards in this process like everyone else.

Joe has options, he seems to be everyones first backup plan (Funny how Joe can never seem to get over the hump) and I think just like all the best players in the league Joe wants to be ‘The Guy’ on offense. He wants freedom to play and control offense. Do you think so?

MC, do you think the fact that Joe is ‘Our Guy’ will have a big effect on his decision? His primary role in our offense and team plans?

ILL-logical

June 28th, 2010
2:23 pm

@ Cunningham: Better packaging of this latest rumor on your part than your “colleague’s” ,who is still playing his raise the eyeball count game.

There are some scenarios where retaining Joe at the max AND doing a S&T with Chillz could advance the team’s fortunes.
For example, acquiring either McGee/ Blatch with his rights could bolster the frontcourt with young relatively inexpensive talent. Add in Mo and there are even more possibilities.
But in my mind, there are some questions concerning Joe’s return that MUST be asked:

1 Will he excert more leadership both on the court and in the locker room? Forget what his “personality” is; for max money, I need max participation in all phases of the game.

2.Will he become a more visible presence within the Atlanta community? Both ZaZa and Josh have attended Atlanta Dream games ,was Joe?

3. When will his game make one or more of his team mates better players? For instance, Jamal Crawford made Teague a much better assist guy by spotting up when Teague drove the lane. Maybe Joe can help Marvin get his grove by feeding and fanning him sometimes.

The leadership question becomes even more crtical when I see the media led rush to annoint ALL Star Al as the leader of the team. Per your observations upon your arrival on the scene,the Hawks could use an Alonzo Mourning type in the locker room. AAA doesn’t fit into that category ,IMHO, by a long shot.

J from the A

June 28th, 2010
2:24 pm

Sign and Trade with the Knicks? Who do we expect to get? Eddie Curry + a future 1st round draft pick? Wait, that might not be a horrible idea. Depth at the 5 and Curry’s contract will be expiring at the end of next season, so no worries about that contract handicapping us for years to come.

Horford/Curry/Pachulia
Smith/Horford/Pachulia
Williams/Childress?/Evans
Crawford/Childress?/Evans/Crawford
Teague/Bibby/Crawford

We probably won’t be competing for the East Championship with this line up, but it gives us some depth without handicapping our ability to make some moves next summer.

Rondo

June 28th, 2010
2:28 pm

Hey MC didn’t the Hawks have anything to do with getting JJ’s father out of jail early…saw a story on Fox Sports the other day and JJ’s father was up for parole and he told the jailers he was JJ’s father and they didn’t believe him…So they told him if he is JJ’s father call him and prove it..He called and JJ answered and told them it is true and told them to release him for parole..DO you think MC that the Hawks are using this peice of information for leverage?

Progeny

June 28th, 2010
2:28 pm

I don’t think JJ is coming back….
Think about it, if we give him the max with no room to sign other free agents in the future except our own what does the ASG get for their investment? Ticket sales will stay the same, we will win between 45-55 games a years for the next couple get bounced out of the playoffs every year with no hopes of getting better except through the draft. ASG keeps on loosing money. AND the fan base is sour on Johnson’s return anyway. This may be a rare time when the fan base’s and the ASG’s interests’ converge…..Save money/gain assets by letting JJ go.

doc

June 28th, 2010
2:37 pm

i sign jj and see how it blends, if not then there always some suitors to talk trade with when the hawks control the situation more than they do now.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
2:48 pm

@ Rondo: the Black Stars did their thing, congrats to them. i had to pull for my side, though.

re: Joe’s uncles . . . i’m sure i could turn the cost of the food in in on my expenses, too.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
2:49 pm

@wesleywhat: “correct me if i’m wrong, but a sign and trade deal means we get a player(s) back in return, right? who/what is rumored to be out there on the mavs, knicks, bulls, etc?”

the knicks and bulls wouldn’t need a sign and trade to sign Joe since they are under the cap. the mavs would need one, but the Wojo story doesn’t mention whom they would be willing to trade.

Grandad

June 28th, 2010
2:49 pm

MC:

Thanks, You answered my question,
even though I phrased it poorly.
Double S&T, I mean’t since Haywood
is a FA, MB had him [Haywood] included
in his S&T scenario.

jroc

June 28th, 2010
2:49 pm

I wonder when the Hawks sign JJ would they have enough money to go at Benga from LA and Kurt Thomas from the bucks.

G-MAN013

June 28th, 2010
2:50 pm

MC,

didn’t you say the Hawks summer league roster would be finalized today? any word on who is on it, besides the obvious?

freshd

June 28th, 2010
2:50 pm

The Timberwolves have made it known that they are willing to trade AL JEFFERSON, so the HAWKS should try to make a play at him and forget ISO JOE, unless the HAWKS are willing to do a three way trade involving DALLAS & MINNESOTA, and then the HAWKS would have a young center to go with HORFORD.

Michael Cunningham

June 28th, 2010
2:50 pm

@ToeKnee: “MC, do you think the fact that Joe is ‘Our Guy’ will have a big effect on his decision? His primary role in our offense and team plans?”

maybe i’m being too cynical, but i think money will have the biggest effect on his decision. he’s (almost) 29, this is his last chance to get a contract. while the Hawks aren’t championship-caliber, they have a good team in place already while those other teams (aside from Dallas) can only sell him on their future plans.

JoJo the Godfather

June 28th, 2010
2:51 pm

If we can’t keep Joe, then Dallas is the best situation. You make them take Bibby, and you get a package back that includes Dampier’s non-guaranteed deal…Hawks have all the leverage in this situation. Dallas can’t sign Joe without us…I’m not sure Haywood would agree to a S&T knowing that he was coming to ATL as a backup, unless we overpay…I’d rather have Damp’s deal which can be dealt along with other players (unlike a trade exception), or we could waive him and basically clear Bibby’s salary.