Joe Johnson’s agent, Arn Tellem, confirmed in a blog post at Huffington Post that Johnson accepted the terms of a six-year contract offer from the Hawks. Johnson and the Hawks finalized the details of the deal on Sunday but a contract can’t be signed until July 8 under free-agent rules.
In the blog post, Tellem offered some insight into J.J.’s decision:
When the free-agency period kicked in, Joe made a point of talking to the Hawks first. Their owners and new coach, Larry Drew, impressed Joe with their commitment to making the team championship-caliber. In turn, Joe felt equally committed to the Hawks, his teammates and the city of Atlanta.
With all his success, Joe remains as grounded as he was a decade ago at our first meeting in Little Rock. His priorities are his family, his friends and his game. Joe could have forced a sign-and-trade deal for five years with another team, but he decided that winning in Atlanta would be more meaningful. When the Hawks offered the maximum — six years — he happily reciprocated.
For his next act, Joe plans to actively recruit other top free agents to Atlanta, a place not unlike his hometown, where he feels comfortable and appreciated.
J.J.’s contract is expected to be worth roughly $120 million, with the exact value to be determined after the league completes its audit later this week. Once the contract is signed, the Hawks will have about $63 million in salaries committed to 10 players for 2010-11. That includes J.J.’s projected salary of about $15.8 million and Jordan Crawford’s rookie-scale salary of about $1 million.
The total doesn’t include the $4.8 million qualifying offer for restricted free agent Josh Childress, who has drawn interest from Washington. The Hawks would have the right to match an offer sheet Childress signs with another team. Childress has until July 15 to notify Greek team Olypiakos if he plans to opt-in for the final year of his contract.