Atlanta Hawks: Still waiting on J.J. (Sat. Update: Hawks confident, patient)

SAT. UPDATE: Despite the rumblings about J.J. bolting to team up with another All-Star , the Hawks remain confident he will accept their max contract offer.

There hasn’t been discussion about a sign-and-trade because Joe still hasn’t given Atlanta any indication he doesn’t want to re-sign. The Hawks expected the process would take a few days so, from their perspective, nothing has changed. Hawks blog legend Sekou agrees that everything is still on track for an agreement.

Note to my blog people: I’ve been trying to avoid posting new blogs unless there’s a significant development in the story so you can continue your comment threads. If you are interested in more frequent updates/chatter/discussion, you can follow me on Twitter. If you are not on Twitter, you should be. . . .

The apparent hesitation by J.J. to accept the Hawks’ six-year, maximum contract offer has led to speculation that perhaps he’s waiting to see what happens with LeBron and other top free agents before committing to Atlanta.

(UPDATE: Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com reports that J.J. “wants to see how things shake out with the other maximum-salary free agents” before making a decision. He quotes a source saying the chances of J.J. accepting the offer are “slightly” better than 50-50.)

SI’s Ian Thomsen reported earlier today that J.J. and Stoudemire remained “open-minded” about taking less money to sign with the Knicks if LeBron goes there (though now it looks like Amare already is committed to New York) . Under that scenario, which Thomsen described as a “longshot”, either J.J. or Amare (or both) would have to take even less than the non-Bird max to play with LeBron in New York since the Knicks don’t have the cap space to give all three max deals.

Meanwhile, the Hawks continue to wait on Joe. There still have been no indications that he won’t accept their offer. His agent says Joe is “comfortable” and “happy” in Atlanta. In their last meeting, the Hawks reiterated their desire to offer him $27 million more than what he can get on the market. So I’m not sure what’s the hold up.

If you are still hoping for a J.J. sign-and-trade, the transaction would have to happen all at once. When the signing period opens on July 8, the Hawks couldn’t sign J.J. and then trade him later in a separate transaction. Under CBA rules, if J.J. re-signs with the Hawks he’s not eligible to be traded for 90 days or until Dec. 15, whichever comes later.

MC

304 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

July 2nd, 2010
7:19 pm

At least we know someone in ATL is thinking big. Buy out Belkin’s share, Tip!

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
7:26 pm

@Najeh: sweet. . . the comments under that post are a hot mess

Bubba G

July 2nd, 2010
7:30 pm

Hope that JJ goes elsewhere. He is not worth $119 million.

ryan

July 2nd, 2010
7:30 pm

Hey Cunningham if an when JJ signs is true that Hawks could land Shaq.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 2nd, 2010
7:32 pm

LMAO the comments under any post on Worldstar are a hot mess…

Truth-Serum

July 2nd, 2010
7:37 pm

I think JJ is waiting on Sund.. Any word from Sund about a center and how he plans to get one?

Harry Hawk

July 2nd, 2010
7:42 pm

We need more comments like those. This stuff gets old sometimes. We need some crazy-*** stuff to get things rollin’.

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
7:43 pm

@ryan: “Hey Cunningham if an when JJ signs is true that Hawks could land Shaq.”

saw that somewhere today. hard to keep up with origin of all these rumors because they spread so fast on Twitter. Hawks could add Shaq using mid-level or bi-annual exceptions. i would think he could wait and get the same money on a team he thinks is closer to a title. but we’ll see what happens once this J.J. drama ends.

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
7:46 pm

@Truth-Serum: “I think JJ is waiting on Sund.. Any word from Sund about a center and how he plans to get one?”

nope, the focus has been all J.J. i’m sure during those meetings Sund and Drew laid out their plan for they and ASG plan to improve the team.

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
7:47 pm

@Truth: but if you are desperate for a name, i have heard they might have interest in Jermaine O’Neal

Michael

July 2nd, 2010
7:53 pm

Its a sad day when JJ accepts, dooming the Hawks to, AT BEST, first round exits for the next few years. Here are my thoughts I posted at another website:

Atlanta ownership didn’t want to face the ire and consequences of not making a big offer to Joe Johnson

Uh, I have been checking lots of message boards and newspapers. I would guess about 4 in 5 fans DON’T want the Hawks to sign Joe Johnson (JJ) at anything near max deal. He ratted out fans, flops in playoffs, plays well only if in isolation. The Hawks GM and ownership need to get their heads out of their arses and check fan sentiment if that is driving this idiotic and albatrossian offer of 6 yrs/ $120 million.

I honestly think the Hawks would be better off without JJ. The “team” would improve and so would attitudes as many don’t like JJ being the designated ball hog. Is JJ a good player? You bet. Is he a player you build your team around? No way. Do you pay a player that is not a stud max money? No way. Is JJ worth max money to any team? Possibly, but not a team as promising as the Hawks and with little financial ability should they sign him. He is worth max to whomever loses out on the main guns of this class and since 4 or 5 teams have lots of money and cap space, you can bet one or two will still have lots of money to spend after Lebron, Wade and Bosh sign. That team, it might make sense to sign JJ to max, but no way does it make any sense at all for the Hawks to do so. It would kill any promise of improvment as they wouldn’t be able to add anything that would help and they won’t be able to resign Horford or some other promising young player that maybe blossoms next year or two.

Joe Johnson has max’d out any value for Atlanta, no since in giving him a huge raise and making “playoffs-but-one-and-done” the annual slogan.

Wake up Rick Sund, read some message boards and listen to some call in radio. Fans don’t want this and the low percentage that do almost all agree there would be no improvement (first round exit) if they sign JJ, but hey, at least there is low risk of falling into the lottery the next few years. The Hawks need to take a risk, in the other direction, let JJ go or sign and trade and get a first round pick or solid 6th man (forward/center type) or improve the PG situation (Bibby not worth the money he makes either, very mediocre NBA PG).

Astro Joe

July 2nd, 2010
7:56 pm

@MC, sorry if this has already been covered, but if they were to try a sign & trade, wouldn’t Joe tbe subject to the BYC rule, meaning the Hawks ould only get $.50 on the dollar in return? I think that is true, just looking for confirmation if you would please.

Marcus

July 2nd, 2010
8:02 pm

If Wade is seriously considering CHI, having JJ come back isn’t a slam dunk.
Now, back to the previous blog ….. if the ASG’s plan is to JJ to stay, then entice a legit big-man … I ask:

1. How much money are they willing to drop?

and most importantly …

2. What quality big man (worth the money and a real difference maker) are left in FA?
Most of the true ‘5′ FA players are over the hill (Big Z, Shaq) or at the top of the hill and a stiff wind will push them over (J. O’Neal).

I still wish they would have taken a developmental ‘5′ in the 2nd (e.g. no financial commitment unless he makes the team) to go along with the supposed veteran front-court FA help they are going to pair along with JJ and the returning players.

JeJe

July 2nd, 2010
8:06 pm

Jermaine O’Neal?

Sounded like Gearon wasn’t too enthused with him, plus the guy is about as healthy as Tracy McGrady

JeJe

July 2nd, 2010
8:07 pm

T.I. is a punk, convicted felon. Don’t post that ever again

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
8:07 pm

@Astro Joe: “@MC, sorry if this has already been covered, but if they were to try a sign & trade, wouldn’t Joe tbe subject to the BYC rule, meaning the Hawks ould only get $.50 on the dollar in return? I think that is true, just looking for confirmation if you would please.”

no, good question . . . he wouldn’t be BYC because his first-year raise would not be more than 20 percent of the last year of his final salary (which was $14.9 mil). http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q75

Austin

July 2nd, 2010
8:10 pm

Michael,
Do you think that Shaq would help us this year? He still is out of shape but he does take up ALOT of space which is still good and would do a better job on dwight than we have been doin…. What’s your thoughts on the matter? Or would u prefer germane?

RickB

July 2nd, 2010
8:10 pm

It’s John Koncak all over again. Knicks offer Hawks player a stupid amount of money. Hawks fall all over themselves to offer more and keep him in Atlanta. Knicks laugh at the Hawks for such stupidity.

Won’t we ever learn from history or are we doomed to repeat it?

JeJe

July 2nd, 2010
8:10 pm

Is these idiot owners had half a brain at all, they’d realize that any bigtime FA would come here, given how close this team is to competing. How hard is it to resign Joe and then add another max FA? THIS IS A BIG MARKET. WE AREN’T FREAKING OKC. WE SHOULD HAVE A 90 MILLION DOLLAR PAYROLL. IF WE DID, WE’D HAVE BEEN IN THE FINALS THE LAST 3 !@#$ING YEARS

Big Ray

July 2nd, 2010
8:20 pm

It’s entertaining to read some of the national media writers. First they said the Hawks wouldn’t pay Joe max or anything really near it. Now they say the Hawks are spending too much.

Jody

July 2nd, 2010
8:21 pm

Here’s the problem. If Joe is waiting to see what happens with other situations, one could take that as meaning that, even with the 6 year max offer, the Hawks ARE NOT Joe’s first option. I don’t know if that’s the case, but if it is, I have a hard time seeing how that stance would or should be acceptable to the Hawks.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2010
8:22 pm

JeJe . . . seriously man. Will you at least try to understand the rules of the cap? You just can’t spend whatever you want for people. The way teams increase their payroll, is to trade for higher salaried players . . or pay their own guys large salaries/

You KNOW that we can’t add another MAX free agent, without trading some of the guys we have. You KNOW that.

If you don’t know it, enough people on this board, including MC, have told you this.

To continue to act like an irrational 16 year old about what we SHOULD do . . . rather than understand what we CAN do . . . just makes you seem like you have no idea what you’re talking about.

LOL . . at least try to understand what is going on . . damn.

Big A Hawks Fan

July 2nd, 2010
8:22 pm

Michael… I don’t see it!!!! do you think signing J.J. is the right thing to do?

ryan

July 2nd, 2010
8:24 pm

If D. Wade lands i Chicago and if Bosh or LeBron goes there and with Amare getting a max deal with New York i just do not see Joe taking less money to play with guys.

RickB

July 2nd, 2010
8:25 pm

I have an idea. Lets all hit Joe on Twitter and ask him to do the right thing and not re-sign.

Jody

July 2nd, 2010
8:32 pm

I think the Hawks should just take the deal of the table if he’s not committed to them as the top option and see how it goes then.

jlewis

July 2nd, 2010
8:34 pm

Joe not re-signing, a lot of you may get what you ask for…Then this really gets fun, because there is no replacement and the current roster will not make the top 8.

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
8:35 pm

@JeJe: Gearon didn’t like JO at $20 million, but maybe he likes him better at $3 million. he played 70 games last season but odds of that happening again are slim based on his history so there would have to be cost/risk assessment.

South ga boy in the atl

July 2nd, 2010
8:39 pm

Say MC, heard another rumor that Denver may want to move Carmello since he won’t sign an extension. Is it possible that Marvin, Smoove, and a No. 1 pick would pry him away. I know it’s a longshot, but the salaries match up pretty close for now. I know the fly in the ointment would be whether Mello would sign a long term deal. I know he may wait for free agency next yr but with a new collective bargaining agreement and possible lockout looming, he may get a better deal now than later. Is it crazy or is there any chance the ASG would pay to max players. That’s what it takes to win a championship, see the Lakers with Kobe and Gasol. What do you think ?

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
8:41 pm

@Austin: if the goal is to add a big body in the paint, Shaq would seem to be the better choice. actually, i think he’s the better choice in every way except the pick-and-pop game (and maybe chemistry since Shaq still comes with a bit of circus).

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
8:44 pm

@ Big Ray: “It’s entertaining to read some of the national media writers. First they said the Hawks wouldn’t pay Joe max or anything really near it. Now they say the Hawks are spending too much.”

there are valid criticisms of the move but this part is indeed funny. it doesn’t seem like they were ready to rip other teams for paying JJ the non-Bird max. they can say the sixth year is what makes it not worth it for the Hawks but JJ will be a very valuable expiring contract by then. again, i’m not saying the move is not without risk but they should be consistent in their arguments.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2010
8:44 pm

Jody

July 2nd, 2010
8:21 pm

Here’s the problem. If Joe is waiting to see what happens with other situations, one could take that as meaning that, even with the 6 year max offer, the Hawks ARE NOT Joe’s first option. I don’t know if that’s the case, but if it is, I have a hard time seeing how that stance would or should be acceptable to the Hawks.

********************

Jody . . here’s what is happening.

Those other teams are not only trying to bad mouth the Hawks, and the city of Atlanta in general . . they’re trying to hype their team and city up at the same time.

While he can’t make the money that he can make in those other cities, they’re trying to sell him on the prestige of playing for their respective teams, and the opportunities that will open up because he is the star player there.

The wooing of these players go waaaay beyond basketball. That’s why the Hawks came with that huge contract offer. That’s why Memphis came with their huge contract offer to Rudy Gay.

They’re using the fact that we’ve never won anything, and that we have no championship history to speak of, against us. And at the same time, they’re using their team history and the players that have played with that organization, as incentive for JJ to come there. These guys probably have video presentations on laptops, showing JJ in their uniform, talking about how the former greats of that organization are still loved in that respective city.

Another thing that may happen, is that a team will FRONTLOAD the contract of JJ, if they can’t get another guy to sign. With the Hawks, a 6yr contract with 10.5% raises may see JJ make around 50 million in those first 3 years. But if those other teams try to frontload their contracts, JJ could make up to 65 – 70 million in those first 3 years. So JJ will get more money in the long run, but not in the short run.

And you can’t discount the Lebron factor, because wherever he goes, the money and the TV spotlight will go as well. If Lebron goes to the Nets, the Nets will all of a sudden have 15 – 20 national TV games. If he plays with Lebron in a big media market, it may enable JJ to make extra money on the side, via endoresments.

All of this is factoring into JJ’s decision.

We are NOT seen as a prestigious basketball franchise. That’s why the ASG used the one thing that they have over those other teams . . . the ability to pay JJ that 6th year and 27 more million dollars. That’s why I’m not mad at them at all for doing it.

We can’t compete on a basketball historical level with Chicago or New York. So we had to use the only leverage we had.

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
8:45 pm

@RickB: JJ actually was back up on Twitter a couple weeks ago. bit now it seems like he’s back off. it was weird.

Jeff D.

July 2nd, 2010
8:47 pm

Sign and trade! Please… Get what you can from Dallas minus Dampier.

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
8:50 pm

@South ga boy: i think i like your creative thinking. but, as you say, Hawks would be giving up a lot to get a guy who may not stick around. they’d still need a center in that scenario, too. intriguing, though.

Section 303

July 2nd, 2010
8:56 pm

Alright, I have to be honest. I’ve been b#tching about how Joe Johnson owes an apology. Well, when I saw on ESPN’s bottom line that the Knicks had presented LeBron with 2 options, both of which include getting Joe, I didn’t like it. So, I guess that means I really want Joe to come back. But, I stand by what I’ve been saying. He does owe an apology.

Section 303

July 2nd, 2010
8:57 pm

Oh…and I hate, I mean HATE, the idea of bringing in Jermaine O’Neil. It might be just me, but I would prefer the Hawks spend money on guys that can actually contribute. The days of Jermaine O’Neil doing that have come and gone.

Reid Adair

July 2nd, 2010
8:58 pm

This is good news. This means there’s still a chance Joe Johnson will not be an Atlanta Hawk for the 2010-11 season.

Jody

July 2nd, 2010
8:59 pm

northcyde,

I get what you’re saying and I agree with the rationale behind the huge offer from the Hawks (except the part about New York who have an inflated sense of self importance and entitlement despite not having accomplished anything in recent memory except displaying the ability to sign bad contracts). I get that this is business, but for once, I’d like to see that Hawks show a little backbone and self-respect as an organization and refuse to be runner-up to a guy who seems to not want to be a leader, but a tag-a-long.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2010
9:00 pm

I mean . . think about it folks. What are the top 5 biggest moments of this franchise since they’ve been in Atlatna?

1) 1994 – Trading Nique for Danny Manning . . a day every Hawks fan following the team at that time, remembers VIVIDLY.

2) 1983 – Trading with Utah to get Dominique Wilkins in the draft

3) 1988 – taking Boston to 7 games in the EC Semis . . . the classic Nique vs Bird matchup

4) 1994 – Winning 57 games and obtaining the #1 seed in the playoffs

5a ) Signing free agent Dikembe Mutumbo in 1996

5b) 2008 – Taking Boston to 7 games . . . when just about everybody in the world thought we’d get swept or at minimum win 1 game

That;s our history folks.

Michael Cunningham

July 2nd, 2010
9:04 pm

@northcyde: i’ve imagined JJ makng one of those pro/con sheets when you are making a big decision. on one side are all those things you mentioned. on the other is $27 million with a circle around it and stability.

N-Trigue

July 2nd, 2010
9:08 pm

Hawks need to try and get Luis Scola! MC have you heard his name mentioned with us at all?

northcyde

July 2nd, 2010
9:11 pm

Jody . . this is not the time for an organization like ours to act like our feelings are hurt because he didn’t immediately take the money. You wait this out, and see what happens. We’ve done all we can do.

If we lose JJ, he’s going to an Eastern Conference team that finished below us. And if that team is the Knicks, and they sign Lebron or Amare along with JJ . . . they will be better than us. Without JJ, a team like Miami may also jump us, if Bosh or Boozer teams up with Wade.

That’s why this is NOT the time to be playing around. This is a NUCLEAR ARMS RACE.

If the ASG needs to make one more pitch to JJ, ish . . bring T.I. to the damn meeting . . set him up with a date with Elle Duncan . . . call Cheetah and Strokers and tell them to give JJ a lifetime VIP pass . . . something.

These other teams don’t give a DAMN about us. They will tell JJ ANYTHING to get him. They are not functioning under some “morality code” when it comes to these negotiations. So we shouldn’t get our feelings hurt because he didn’t take the deal right away.

If he wants the money, he’ll come back. If he believes the lies and half-truths that those other teams are telling him, he’ll go play with them.

But at least the ASG tried. I’m astonished that they even tried to lock him up like they did.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 2nd, 2010
9:12 pm

“Another thing that may happen, is that a team will FRONTLOAD the contract of JJ, if they can’t get another guy to sign.”

MannyT, niremetal, and MC can confirm or deny this, but I don’t think this is possible with a max contract. When you sign to a max contract, you’re not signing for a specific dollar amount, but a percentage of the salary cap. With that being the case, how much a guy gets paid each year with a max deal is based on the fluctuation in the salary cap, meaning a team wouldn’t have the ability to frontload a max deal.

At least that’s my understanding. I know players that get signed for less than the max get frontloaded all the time.

Jody

July 2nd, 2010
9:16 pm

northcyde,

Point taken. Let’s see what happens.

Big Ump

July 2nd, 2010
9:18 pm

Shout out to Truth Serum, Big Ray, and Ken S. Ken how everything going with you? I hope all is well.

Hawksfan

July 2nd, 2010
9:18 pm

Ryan, what are you saying? That Joe would prefer to play in the WNBA with the girls and make less money, than play in the NBA with the guys and make more money?

hawks #1 fan

July 2nd, 2010
9:20 pm

I,m getting scared that joe johnson is going to sign for all this money that he’s not worth. Please gm sund, anybody, don’t do it.

northcyde

July 2nd, 2010
9:22 pm

No doubt MC. We definitely represent stability side of the equation. If he comes back here, he’ll know what to expect.

Fans up therestill villify my boy Allan Houston, even though they know good and well that the Knicks were SORRY because of the decline and eventual loss of Patrick Ewing. Allan did his job . . but the Knicks best big man after Patrick left, was Kurt Thomas. And along with Spreewell’s gunning self taking wild shots, those 2000s Knick teams were doomed to be no more than mediocre.

cj

July 2nd, 2010
9:24 pm

Enter your comments here