I’m going to the Hawks game with Dallas tonight — and we’ll have our usual live chat, so please join in! – but I wanted to broach this topic. I keep hearing that, of all the big-name free agents who come on the market this summer, Joe Johnson is the most apt to change clubs. (Everyone seems to think JJ has interest in going to Chicago to become the new MJ.) And I’m wondering: How would you feel if he did?
There has been, I submit, something of a Joe Backlash this season. (I’ve contributed to it, I’ll admit.) The Hawks’ best player has been scrutinized in a way he hasn’t before, which is what happens when a bad team gets good: First you see the promise, and then you start picking nits. But he’s still their best player, and there’s really no way, at least as I see it, to fill his spot if he takes some other team’s money.
LeBron James isn’t coming here. Neither is Kobe Bryant. Neither is Dwyane Wade. Chris Bosh might, I suppose, but I don’t know where he’d play. (Bosh at power forward would mean Josh Smith moves to small forward, and do you want him on the perimeter with a greater license to hoist jump shots?) Losing Johnson wouldn’t be tantamount to starting over — the Hawks do have a talent base — but it would mean retrenching. And this team is too close to something big to take even a baby step backward.
That’s how I see it. You might well have a different opinion. That’s why we have that little white “comment” box below. Please avail yourself freely, and I’ll be back early this evening. And I thank you in advance.