Atlanta Hawks: Still on track with J.J.

It’s still not (unofficially) official yet but Joe Johnson and the Hawks remain on track to reach agreement on a six-year, maximum contract for the free agent.

The Hawks and J.J. have been working out the details of the contract since a second meeting on Thursday. Some reports suggested Johnson was waiting to see what happens with other free agents before accepting the deal, but the Hawks have been confident a deal would be reached.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports! tweeted early Sunday that “the Bulls and Knicks have long since moved on” from trying to recruit J.J.

The 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. The Hawks and Johnson can agree to terms now but a contract can’t be signed until July 8.

Once the contract is signed, the Hawks would about $63 million in salaries committed to 10 players for 2010-11. That includes J.J.’s projected salary of roughly $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.

MC

157 comments Add your comment

ART

July 4th, 2010
1:15 am

Melvin

July 4th, 2010
1:28 am

I’m up and here with you MC. Let’s get Joe signed and eat some barbeque later today…

Hawks Mess

July 4th, 2010
1:35 am

Buyer beware, as Johnson is a minutes hound who puts up big numbers as a result and is about to hit the downside of his career. – NBA.com

Why does everyone know this but our owners?

Gilk

July 4th, 2010
1:48 am

Now “On To The Next One” … what “starting caliber center” can the Hawks fetch either in a free agent signing or blockbuster trade? MC, please explore in subsequent blogs the following guys and their fit as the starting 5 for the Hawks:

-Al Jefferson (Minnesota)
-Tyson Chandler (Charlotte)
-Brendan Haywood (UFA – previously Dallas)
-Greg Oden (Portland)
-Joel Pryzbilla (Portland)
-Chris Kaman (LA Clippers)
-DeAndre Jordan (LA Clippers)
-Andrew Bynum (LA Lakers)
-Marcin Gortat (Orlando)
-Emeka Okafor (New Orleans)

Personally, I have no qualms dangling Josh Smith and RFA Josh Childress in order to FINALLY get a starting center here. I think Horford would blossom in his natural position as a power forward. Build the team around Joe, Horford, and Teague. I say keep Marvin 1 more year to see if Larry Drew can draw his potential out. After that, pull the plug and trade his contract (and Bibby’s) elsewhere.

Jesse

July 4th, 2010
1:48 am

Joe is not worth the money when he’s 33 and 34. We’re going to be paying him 20+ million for 14 ppg. And he’ll be impossible to trade.

cdog

July 4th, 2010
2:02 am

THE HAWKS NEED TO THINK ABOUT WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP.BRING PLAYERS BY NOT WORRY ABOUT MONEY.IF YOU PUT A GOOD PRODUCT ON THE FLOOR, YOU WILL WIN AND THEN YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY BY WINNING.JOHNSON BY FAR, IS NOT A STAR PLAYER THAT YOU CAN BUILD A TEAM AROUNG.HE’S NOT MENTALLY TOUGH NOR IS HE A WINNER.MANY WILL WITHNESS THE FALL OF THE HAWKS IF THIS DEAL GOES THROUGH BUT QUESS WHAT, RICK SUND DOESN’T CARE ABOUT WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP.HE WILL PUT A COME UP SHORT PRODUCT ON THE FLOOR THEN HE ADMIRE OTHER TEAMS THAT ARE WINNING.WE NEED LEADERS INMANAGEMENT WHO ARE COMMITED TO WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIPS NOT OWNERS THAT LOOKS FOR EXCUSES AND CONTINUE TO MAKE DUMB LOSING MOVES. THATS WHY THE QUALITY FREE AGENTS HAVE NOT POINTED THEMSELVES TOWARD THE HAWKS.THEY KNOW ABOUT RICK SUND.LEBRON AND AMARE STOUDMIER WOULD LOVE TO COME TO ANY CITY INCLUDING ATLANTA IF SUND AND THE REST WILL DO THINGS RIGHT AND PAY THE MONEY TO IMPROVE THE TEAM BUT WITH RICK , THATS TOO MUCH LIKE DURING WHATS RIGHT.

Hopeful Hawks Fan

July 4th, 2010
2:16 am

cdog, We can’t sign them because we dont have enough freaking money to. Why don’t people understand that…

right

July 4th, 2010
2:20 am

we dont have to wait for josh to blossom he is a very very good power forward and much better than horford trade horford now!h

Jerry West

July 4th, 2010
2:21 am

Amending my trade from another comment:

Josh for Biedrins and Anthony Randolph

right

July 4th, 2010
2:23 am

horford about as good as he gets. Josh will be a super star and is one of the top 3 forwards in the nba !

right

July 4th, 2010
2:26 am

trade our center for a center

right

July 4th, 2010
2:28 am

Gik I ag ree on day may be horford will be better at power forward no matter which team hes traded to.

right

July 4th, 2010
2:30 am

it doesnt matter which position horford’s at he wont play defense!

Gilk

July 4th, 2010
2:30 am

right, i respectfully disagree re: Josh vs. Al Horford at power forward. Josh has lapses in his basketball IQ in nearly every game. And is low-post offensive game is non-existent. I do appreciate his defensive skills and don’t want to lose that. Just like my wish for Marvin Williams, maybe Larry Drew can get the greatness out of Josh … I was encouraged when Drew said that he wanted Josh to go down low and operate in the post and not on the perimeter. No way do I see Josh being effective as a 3 for the Hawks.

Pat McCrotch

July 4th, 2010
2:42 am

@right- Put down the crack pipe, buddy.

I lost what little faith I hade left in the Hawks organization. Joe is not worth it. He will be way too old in 6 years to be making $20 mil. We will be handcuffed for the last four years of that contract.

Clyde

July 4th, 2010
3:05 am

The Sprit Group does not know how to run a NBA franchise

Clyde

July 4th, 2010
3:08 am

The only thing Horford is good for is a jump shot

Clyde

July 4th, 2010
3:10 am

If Joe signs we will have the same squad as last year. That means another 2nd round sweep.

Clyde

July 4th, 2010
3:15 am

20 million a year for player and you pay your coach one million. Spirit Group outta be ashamed.

Clyde

July 4th, 2010
3:17 am

Joe Johnson = Alan Houston

no id

July 4th, 2010
3:26 am

Get over it people! Joe is going to sign..let’s just hope that this sorry group of owners we have make a trade or something to help improve the team.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 4th, 2010
3:37 am

“Josh has lapses in his basketball IQ in nearly every game. And is low-post offensive game is non-existent.”

Neither Horford nor Josh have much of a low-post offensive game to write home about. Right now all Al has in the low post is a turnaround jumper and all Josh has is a running lefty hook. Josh draws more fouls in the low post than Al and does a better job passing out of the double team, so Josh actually gets the edge right now.

As long as Al is at center, he should be more focused on developing his face-up game — if he ever realized how to use his quickness advantage offensively, he would easily put up 20 a game even at the center position.

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478)

July 4th, 2010
4:51 am

Clyde

July 4th, 2010
3:10 am

If Joe signs we will have the same squad as last year. That means another 2nd round sweep.
…………………………………..

considering how much these other Eastern teams are “loading up”…not to mention the likes of ORL still around…..we’ll be lucky to beat the 2nd, 3rd or 4th seed in the 1st round…depending which bottom playoff spot we fall into.

vava74

July 4th, 2010
4:54 am

Right now all points out at trading Jamal Crawford to get some inside help, someone who can share evenly the minutes with Josh and Al but comes off the bench with more inside bulk.

As much as I like Jamal as our bench weapon, he is our only trading chip and a defensive liability.

Jordan Crawford should be able to bring us similar production by year 2 or maybe even by the end of this year.

Zaza is not physical enough and plays smaller than he is so he isn’t the the type of big we need. He is more of a PF than a C both offensively and defensively.

Maybe we can snatch Priz from the Blazers to be our enforcer.

A sign and trade for Dampier if Shaq signs with Dallas would not cut it completely but would be acceptable for 20/22 minutes of bulk off the bench.

Maybe we can package

STRETCH

July 4th, 2010
4:58 am

Enter your comments here

STRETCH

July 4th, 2010
5:02 am

Its a shame that these owners cant figure out what the real problem is. ONE player sucking up all the teams money. ONE player cant win you a championship.

The money is on the table but he wont eat cause he knows he wont be able to get a championship in Atlanta. He knows that he is a Robin and not a Batman and that the critizism will be unbearable after he accepts that contract and another 2 round exit.

Clearly a desperation move by a terrible organization once again!
Why not spend that money on 2 or maybe 3 quality players that can contribute right away?
Why spend all your money on hamburgers and head home home knowing that you dont have any buns at home?!

But i forgot were down south, so they will use sandwich bread.

Ken Strickland

July 4th, 2010
5:14 am

Too many of you are judging the OFF abilities of JSmith, AHorford and MWilliams based on how they performed in a very limited ISO dependent OFF. With more fast breaking, screens, ball and player movement, and less dependence on having our bigs in ISO situations trying to beat the defender off the dribble, they should become far more efficient and effective offensively.

CLYDE-when a center leads his team in rebounds and is 2nd in blocks, it proves he’s more than just jump shooter. It’s obvious you don’t like AHorford, for whatever reason, but to try to trivialize his accomplishments in a weak attempt to justify your opinion of him makes you look bad, my friend.

Why complain about the amount of money the ASG is paying LDrew. To get a better HC for less money is a positive in my book. Besides, LDrew didn’t seem to have a problem with it when he signed the contract. He’ll get his money 2yrs from now after he’s proven what he can do.

When Horford complained during an interview about needing more help on the boards, I’m pretty certain he was referring to SF MWilliams. Marvin has proven he can be a factor on the boards, but he just hasn’t done it with any degree of consistency. I firmly believe that involving him more in the OFF, instead of the habit of having him clear out and stand around on the perimeter, or having him go one on one when he does have a play called for him, will elevate his entire gm.

GILK-the biggest problem with your list is JPryzbilla and BHeywood are the only free agents on your list. Heywood wants to be a starter and is leaning heavily towards returning to Dallas, since he knows he has an excellent chance of replacing Dampier. TChandler is off the market since he decided not to opt out of the final yr of his contract. Our best bet, and possibly our only bet, is to sign a FA like NMohammed, MCamby, and maybe NKrstic or JPryzbilla, assuming one of them decides to opt out of his contracts.

MGortat and DJordan have yet to prove they are starting quality centers.

Ken Strickland

July 4th, 2010
5:23 am

STRETCH-AHorford is an All Star center, JCrawford was 6th man of the yr, and JSmith was in the All Star running last yr. I wouldn’t call that sandwich bread. And don’t they use sandwich bread in the North, East and West? Why don’t you name 2 or 3 quality players that are available and the Hawks can afford. The Hawks are able to resign JJ to a max contract because of the Larry Bird rule, which doesn’t apply to any other available FA on the market.

Instead of trying to be sarcastic, try being informed and intelligent.

Marcus

July 4th, 2010
7:28 am

MC,
to echo the comments of above (and my own post yesterday): What difference-making big man is available in the Hawks price range? I just don’t see it.

Hayward is leaning back towards DAL, T. Chandler/Ch. Frye resigned, as did my fav Amir Johnson (more PF than C).

D21

July 4th, 2010
7:40 am

I like the fact they talked about spending to improve the team, but why don’t we hear anything except this O’Neal rumor which could be more Jermaine than Shaq.

Do we need to say again that with the MLE we could be trying to get someone like Brad Miller, do we need to say again that ATL could try sign-&-trade for example for Bosh, exactly like Houston is doing (we don’t need to have cap room to pursue an UFA, we can trade our players for him).

I know it would be better to get a real C than Bosh, but there should be some things like that.
And don’t let walk Childress for nothing, because if nothing is done is the right direction except keeping Joe for 120M, it would not make any sense at all.

ASG can continue his silence work, but for once, please, don’t stay on this 120M offer, and go out get someone who really improve the team by trading all you want.

N-Trigue

July 4th, 2010
7:45 am

Tyrus Thomas is who we need at center! If he plays 30-34 mins he will provide 12-14pts 10-12rebs and 2-3blocks and is still young and not injury prone! He’s who we need not these other guys at center!

Hawk n the Ham

July 4th, 2010
8:16 am

At first I was skeptical on the whole contract thing with jj. But if we can lock up Joe and acquire a legitimate 5 man this summer, I am all for it. And I don’t really give a crappy about what jj said after the horrible playoff loss, I’m going to still make that 2 hour drive from Birmingham to watch the hawks wearing my Joe Johnson jersey.

Go Hawks!

Nahila

July 4th, 2010
8:17 am

Now that Dirk has shown he desires to be a team player for Dallas by agreeing to lower his new salary amount leaving Dallas enough room to go after additional key players in hopes of winning, why does Joe not do the same for the Hawks by lowering his contract amount so that the Hawks can sign Childress in lieu of having to trade him, and maybe also have Joe ask the Hawks for them to sign or trade for a starting center. Go after Shaq as he will bring enough new paying fans to the games that will more than pay for his salary and then some.

STRETCH

July 4th, 2010
8:39 am

Ken,

Why dont you name 2 or 3 teams inquiring about Hawks players, what are you a spokesperson for ASG now? One thing i do know is common sense. Whatever, its still a waste of money on a guy that wont wont be a factor in the next 3 or 4 years.

Josh Smith will still be a head case and Marvin and Bibby are gonna be the same or probably worse. Al will continue to give all he has but contiuously come up SHORT. So tell me, whats your plan since you are director of player development.

nes

July 4th, 2010
8:46 am

well Nahila hits the nail right on the head! J. Johnson is all about the MONEY! This is exactly why we are going to be stuck with the same team as last year, forget a center worth 3 million they saved on draft day and why in the world didn’t they just draft Whiteside and roll the dice on developing a true center or even trade up and drafted Daniel Orton if that is really the center they wanted-laughs, can’t get too picky in the late first round and early second round, go for the best center available period! JJ is not the team player the hawks need and no other team in the nba will even offer a max contract at 92 million and the hawks throw out 119 million, the joke is on ASG and that stupid GM Rick Sund who i’m sure is just following orders from the ASG to sign JJ without trying to sign other free agents who were available but now signed by other teams who were smarter and faster with the contracts. ASG–please sell out now!!

JOE

July 4th, 2010
8:49 am

yet another bad decision by Hawks management(Sund). Now you have 2 large contracts with Bibby and Williams that are useless and a huge contract with JJ for a guy that is just a jump shooter and can’t get to the basket( only by trying to back someone down SLOWLY). They are a terminal 2 round out as presently configured. I haven’t seen anyone else throwing out any big numbers for JJ yet because the rest of the league sees him as a second or third piece rather than the Hawks veiw of him as their “superstar”….. laughable

bigdave

July 4th, 2010
9:18 am

“Once the Hawks made a maximum offer on Thursday, Johnson never gave serious consideration to anything but a return to the Hawks. The Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks tried to engage him in talks, but Johnson did little more than politely listen.”

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 1:07 a.m. ET, July 4

was spun by the the guys @ ESPN as:

“Sources: Johnson likes Knicks, Bulls”
“Sources said his continued hesitancy to commit to the deal was a sign that Johnson wanted to keep his options open. ”
“One source said the chances of Johnson accepting Atlanta’s offer were “slightly” better that 50-50.”

i guess they have to cater to the ears of the larger markets. i guarantee if they would’ve managed to work a sign and trade for Joe it would’ve been deemed brilliance on their behalf; but when we make a play for our guy.. we over payed.. worst contract in history, etc.

Saint Richt

July 4th, 2010
9:24 am

The Hawks should tell Joke Johnson to sign the contract today by noon or GTFO…………better yet just tell him to hit the bricks now………….welcome to Salary Cap Hell.

eturn

July 4th, 2010
9:27 am

The Hawks are the laughing stock of the NBA. Do you ever hear of a player saying they want to come to Atlanta. The management make bone headed decisions. The national media is saying how bad of a contract Joe is getting. Do they seek others advice of what. Same old Hawks from years back. Koncak.. Speedy, Marvin, should I go on… lol

404atlhoops

July 4th, 2010
9:28 am

The Hawks resigned Joe Johnson because they had to and it’s the right thing to do. For those who are against JJ’s signing (arguably the 3rd best SG behind Bryant and Wade), please give me a legitimate option of what the Hawks should do instead. I don’t want to hear go after Wade, Bosh, Amare, Lebron because the Hawks do not have the money to do so with only a little over 5 mil under the cap. Even in a sign and trade, the Hawks will not get back comparable talent. Salmons is the only player I would consider and he is no where near the player Johnson is. As Rick Kamla said in a 790thezone radio interview, you don’t let Joe Johnson walk you buld with Johnson and add another piece.

This team will not be a playoff team next year without Johnson and go back to being a doormat. Also if I’m Al Horford why would I want to resign with the Hawks, when management did not attempt a best efforts to resign Joe Johnson, the team’s best player?

G-Money

July 4th, 2010
9:33 am

I am trying to figure out all of the naysayers on Joe Johnson. He executed an offense that he was told to execute, I don’t recall him calling plays for himself. He has not caused any off the court problems, and as far as has been reported, he is not a bad locker room presence. So he isn’t LeBron or D. Wade, newsflash for you, all of the other free agents in this class are not either. Has LeBron won a championship? Wade won, and played well with Shaq and some very interesting calls. If the market dictates that you pay him the max then you pay him the max. I find it quite interesting that all of us smart guys who do not have the wealth that the owners of the ASG have, most assuredly have all of the right answers.

w8102chawks

July 4th, 2010
9:37 am

An Allstar in his 2nd year in the league and Horford’s game is in guestion? Wow! Dude just left college after winning 2 Champs in a row and making the Allstar lineup playing out of position. I say give the young man a break and watch as his game continues to develope. I like having both Josh and Al, chimistry in developement. Who was the last 1st or 2nd year Hawk to be voted an Allstar.

eturn

July 4th, 2010
9:39 am

Actually G money there was some locker room problems.. Joe started to sulk when Jamal began to flourish on the team and started to score more points.. Joe was no longer the man at times. This was reported by a certain player on the team..So there was issues…and Woodson didnt address them.

Gatorman

July 4th, 2010
9:43 am

For those that want or don’t want him, look at the last year. The team won 50+ games for the first time since Dominique was here, and they seem to have a good mix of older veterans and younger talent. JJ came here to add offense after a period in (Phoenix I think) were he was third option. He has shown development over two years of doing his job better than anyone before him, and he did play some defense from the shooter position. However, they are offering him salary of an elite player when he isn’t, wow and they keep saying they can’t afford to bring in the veterans to make the bench stronger. Even the National press seldom uses his name when talking about the most valuable free agents, so is Atlanta’s management acting like that dufus in Dallas??? Any team has to look at one player value versus the others on the team, and if his contract immediately causes the other players to question what they’re getting, then you have an unsolvable problem. I only hope the powers to be step back look at the total picture and with draw the elite dollars and force a team like New York or Jersey to hock their future not Atlanta.

HawksBravesFalcons

July 4th, 2010
9:47 am

I agree with 404atlhoops. Yeah Joe may not be worth the over $100 million we are going to pay him, but who else is out there that we can afford? If we did a sign and trade, we would have to get rid of someone like Josh Smith or Al Horford, and I really don’t see this happening. Josh Smith CAN be the best power forward in the game and Al Horford can play power forward or center really well. I agree with most people in the idea that we need a new center and I really believe we should have drafted one instead of giving up picks for money. To solve this i think the hawks should trade zaza and bibby/williams, to get one of the more valuable centers in the league. That would move Josh to small forward, Al to power forward, Joe to shooting guard, and Jamal to point guard with our draft pick coming off the bench for joe and teague being sixth man.

Sund to Dawgs

July 4th, 2010
9:49 am

Thats right folks…u heard it here first. Sund is leaving to be AD in Athens (as soon as he completes his AA program).

eturn

July 4th, 2010
9:53 am

Josh Smith is a Headcase ppl. Its hard to change a person personality or way of doing things.. I dont think he will change. If he do..it will take a miracle from above.

eturn

July 4th, 2010
9:55 am

Enter your comments here

robdawg08

July 4th, 2010
9:58 am

Please don’t tell me the Hawks are going to pay this Jekkyl & Hyde player maximum money when he is 34 years-old ? Save the money. Joe doesn’t want to play for the hawks, he just can’t get a comparable offer from another team. I hate Hawks ownership.

Hey Cunningham, can you write a blog that doesn’t have your man-crush title on Joe Johnson ? Are you telling all us fans that the hope is resigning Joe or nothing ? With a great crop of free agents available ? Hawks could go over the cap and get some star players to win with. Joe Johnson IS NOT THE ANSWER.

Mookie

July 4th, 2010
10:01 am

Why not offer the same contract that Johnson got to James or Wade?