SI.com: The Knicks want Joe, but not as their main man

The Hawks plan to offer $20 million per season, plus a nifty hat. (AJC photo by Louis Favorite)

The Hawks will offer $20 million per season, plus a nifty hat. (AJC photo by Louis Favorite)

July is nearly here, which means … well, you know what. According to Ian Thomsen of SI.com, it means the New York Knicks will seek to construct an NBA champion by signing half the big name free agents, Joe Johnson among them. But not, we must point out, chief among them.

The Knicks, Thomsen writes, are looking to land Johnson and either Chris Bosh or Amar’e Stoudemire and also LeBron James. And here we pause to ponder: Would Joe, accustomed to taking nearly every big shot, consent to becoming a third option? Would he take significantly less money — Thomsen says New York plans to offer the three big names a base salary of $11.5; Johnson made $14 million as a Hawk last season — to become a ride-along?

I can’t envision it. For all the discussion about free agent “summits” and package deals, I still believe the driving forces for these men are money and ego, not necessarily in that order. And if you’re good enough to be offered a maximum contract — the Hawks can throw $20 million per season at Johnson — would you really take substantially less to shoot less?

Again, I can’t see it. But we should know something soon enough. The Knicks, reports Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, are poised to meet with Johnson in Los Angeles after free agency commences at midnight tonight — before they officially visit LeBron.

142 comments Add your comment

Buck Commander

June 30th, 2010
10:05 am

First Again!!

Buck Commander

June 30th, 2010
10:06 am

Just let me bask in my glory.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:07 am

Bask away, Buck.

show me state

June 30th, 2010
10:14 am

I see Joe re-signing……….as horford said…….

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:17 am

I do, too, show me state.

Brian

June 30th, 2010
10:17 am

I can certainly live with the hawks re-signing joe. Mark have you heard any trades involving marvin or bibby? Also, I would love if the hawks signed kurt thomas, a nasty big man who can hit the 15 footer.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:18 am

Trades aren’t on the front burner anywhere, Brian, unless they’re sign-and-trades involving a free agent.

Marcus

June 30th, 2010
10:18 am

hmmm, NYC for an Arkansas boy. didn’t Stevie Wonder have a song about that…..

James B.

June 30th, 2010
10:20 am

Mark,

I don’t get it–why don’t people want Joe to return? This team won 53 games without solid PG play and with a HC who had no cohesive offensive philosophy, underutilized his bench and employed a defense where Centers and PF switched to defend guards in pick-and-roll plays and there are many who want to blow it up and get rid of the team’s best player.

Isn’t it feasible that ownership and management feel that tweaking the roster is preferable to wholesale changes? Is is possible that they are right?

Marcus

June 30th, 2010
10:20 am

oh yeah, excluding Buck’s double-post and the blog meister’s chime in …. I am rocking my soon-to-be vintage/bargain bin @ NBAstore.com Joe Johnson No. 2 jersey.

dstdeelite

June 30th, 2010
10:20 am

I think JJ would thrive in this environment. Think back to All Star Game 2010. He deferred to the “superstars” like D Wade and LBJ more often than he shot the ball. If he’s willing to take a pay cut is another story.

James B.

June 30th, 2010
10:21 am

I meant “Is it possible….

Paul Pierce for PreZ

June 30th, 2010
10:21 am

Paul Pierce has just opted out of his final contract he is now a FA!!!!!!!!!

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:21 am

It’s a weird vibe, James B. I don’t quite understand it. But the Hawks themselves are desperate to have Joe Johnson back, even if fans aren’t.

Marcus

June 30th, 2010
10:23 am

my bust ….excluding MBs posts, looks like I am rocking the current edition, hopefully still valid No. 5 Hawks jersey (go Smoove!)

Ya know, if JJ dips, I wouldn’t mind seeing TOR FA PF/C Amir Johnson relocate to the land of Peaches and honey(s). He probably couldn’t lite up the scoreboard on a PS3, much less in real game action, but would be a nice defensive addition.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

June 30th, 2010
10:23 am

But will the hawks throw all the money at Joe or will they offend him with what he considers a slap in the face offer.
I agree though if max money if offered he stays

Ray Allen

June 30th, 2010
10:25 am

Hey i’m leaving Boston Too!

Ben

June 30th, 2010
10:25 am

The Knicks are the joke of the NBA now. If JJ goes there it will be a disaster. He thinks Hawks fans are tough? He will be booed relentlessly.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:27 am

There’s no choice but to offer the maximum, SOUTH GA.

steve brown

June 30th, 2010
10:29 am

The Knicks (Donlan) are idiots if they don’t think it is about the money!

TONE

June 30th, 2010
10:29 am

wonder why the hawks didn’t go after Yi Jianlian a 7 footer that they could have afforded

KevinM

June 30th, 2010
10:30 am

Bad news…..Joe Johnson will get a max from the ASG….and its not going to be good going forward.

Anybody see a rush to the ticket offices?

That will be the extent of our offseason moves I’m afraid.

Still hoping for a twist to all this…..

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

June 30th, 2010
10:30 am

Ok thanks I am surely in the camp that thinks JJ will continue to be a Hawk then and we need him.

Marcus

June 30th, 2010
10:30 am

Horford has stated in English (NBA.com’s recent blurb) AND Spanish (in a late May Univision interview) that he wants a bone fide ‘5′ in the lineup so he can slide down to PF. I know those don’t grow on trees, but Sund gave up the No. 31 pick for soem $$$ to do some things with ….. and no a trip to Vegas or Atlantic City isn’t one of them. Rick, work your magic, but lets not get anymore bargain-basement vets who are 2 steps away from retirement or Celebrity Fit Club.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:32 am

I’m not sure the Hawks can afford anything until they see what Joe Johnson does, TONE.

James B.

June 30th, 2010
10:34 am

In 2008, the play of Celtics PG Rajon Rondo was considered the biggest question as to whether the “Big 3″ chances of winning a title but he was, arguably, their best player in 2010. IMO PG play is the biggest area of need for the Hawks. Any chance Jeff Teague will develop into that type of player under Coach Drew? If not, is there anyone out there you see that can fill that role?

One other quick question–was it my imagination or was Horford throwing Josh Smith under the bus in that SI article?

nobody

June 30th, 2010
10:36 am

Tone. Since the Nets took a player with a 1 million salary and gave the wizards 3 million, Yi’s 4 million salary for next year is pretty much paid for by the nets. I would have liked to see the deal for the Hawks. Oh Well

allan in texas

June 30th, 2010
10:36 am

I believe that JJ will resign with the Hawks, however, I still believe that a major trade is coming.I think that Jsmoove will be moved for a center and Horford will move to Power Forward. Any thoughts on that Mark? I also believe that where there is smoke there is fire so watch out regarding the Chris Paul situation.Who saw the Jamal Crawford trade coming last year?

Chris

June 30th, 2010
10:39 am

We need Joe. Stop the hate against him. We will have a new offense with Coach Drew so don’t worry about iso-Joe anymore.

atlienforlife

June 30th, 2010
10:42 am

I have reserved to the fact that Joe is gonna walk, so the hawks must get something for him. And, just dreaming, but the denverpost has reported Carmelo is on the trade block. Sign and trade joe or Marvin, jamal crawford and maybe money for melo. starting 5: teague, Chillz, melo, Josh smith, and horford.

Dennis Felton, former UGA Basketball Coach

June 30th, 2010
10:44 am

If the Hawks had selected me as Head Coach, I would have lobbied for Sundiata Gaines. He is a worthy replacement for Joe Johnson. I would have then signed Ricky McPhee as the back-up shooting guard, he is basically J.J. Redick but not as tall (or universally hated).

Mark Bradley, why didn’t you lobby for me? You hyperlink to bogus ESPN and CNNSI reports but never stand up for the man with a killer mustache. You make me sick.

DCbravosfan

June 30th, 2010
10:46 am

Mark, fans (me included) have given up on Joe. He has been a playoff no-show for the last three years. Because he is so laid-back, he shows almost no emotion on the court. He never displays any leadership on the court (although he was the team captain) and he refuses to go to hole to get himself going. What is the upside of signing him. I know that he is top 15 in the NBA now, but how many good years does he have left. It is a hard pill to swallow, but the Hawks are better blowing this team up and trying to rebuild with the new coach and better players. After the sweep by the Magic, I gave up on this squad. Keep Horford and Smoove and dump the rest of these guys. No heart, no desire, no pride.

Roman

June 30th, 2010
10:48 am

I think the Hawks are in a horrible situation with Joe. To retain him, all signs are pointing to a max deal with that extra year. Joe just turned 29 yesterday so a 6 year contract puts him at 35. The last 2-3 years of that contract could be an albatross for the Hawks in terms of the cap. However, if they let him go via free agency, they most likely will miss the playoffs (depending on how FA places out in the East) and are forced to build around Horford and Josh Smith. I like both as players, but not sure you can build a championship team if those are your 2 best players. My guess is we overpay for Joe, continue to make the playoffs with a 2nd round ceiling, and in 3-4 years we take a huge tumble when we are stuck with an old Joe Johnson and a contract nobody wants.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:52 am

I hear you, DCbravosfan. And you’re not alone.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:53 am

When last I saw Dennis Felton, I should report, he not only had a mustache but a full beard. Looked very dashing.

Steve

June 30th, 2010
10:54 am

Mark, I was reading a New York paper, and they said NY was willing to give Joe a 6th year. Is this possible? I don’t know the rules, but I kept hearing we could offer Joe more than anyone, and other teams could only go 5 years. And the paper wasn’t talking sign and trade either. Based on this report, Joe is option #1, and will lead to either LeBron going to the Knicks, or signing Rudy Gay, trading for either Chris Paul or Tony Parker, and getting Carmelo next year.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2010
10:55 am

I’ve heard the Knicks are offering five years, Steve.

Ian

June 30th, 2010
10:55 am

Please for the love of God, do not resign Joe to a max deal.

Think of the long-view, people!

Reid Adair

June 30th, 2010
10:58 am

If the check the Knicks are willing to write is large enough, Joe Johnson won’t care about being “the man.” As long as someone signs him other than the Hawks, it will be fine.

KevinM

June 30th, 2010
11:01 am

Joe is one knee injury away at age 29 from us having a bad contract on our hands before we enter the CBA. I like the alternative and let Joe see what he can get elsewhere or if Joe tells us he wants to play elsewhere, then I sign him to a max, and move him faster than cheese melts on a grill.

So Horford doesnt’ like to play with Smoove and Chills, according to a report on the radio, doesn’t like Smoove either. Strange to think that if Smoove was a problem he wouldn’t still be here or he would be on this way out of here faster than Joe?

Carmello A.

June 30th, 2010
11:01 am

Heck…I think I’ll opt out and get some of this.

Dirk N.

June 30th, 2010
11:01 am

Yaaa…me too.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 30th, 2010
11:03 am

Let JJ go, then trade Josh to Denver for Mello and sign him then to a max deal. Inert J-Crawford as your starting SG. If this would work financially Atlanta then would have a superstar to come and see in Carmello.

Paul P.

June 30th, 2010
11:03 am

Where do I sign up.

carmelo

June 30th, 2010
11:03 am

Carmelo is on the trading block lets trade next years 1, Marvin Williams, and rights to Josh Childress for Carmelo. Give Carmelo a max contract and fill out our roster with veterans free agents.

Dennis Felton, former UGA Basketball Coach

June 30th, 2010
11:03 am

Yeah I grew out the scruff once I got canned, no point in implementing a “no facial hair below the lip” policy if there’s nobody there to listen to me. My original hope was that the team would form a collective bond by all growing mustaches, we would have been the talk of this here column.

So now Coach Felton is letting his facial hair flow in all it’s glory. You’re right, Mr. Bradley, it’s so dashing that I find myself looking in the mirror for half the day. Good heavens I am pretty.

ryan

June 30th, 2010
11:09 am

Carmello Anthony is on the trading block package Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith. How about that.

John

June 30th, 2010
11:11 am

I don’t think so much that it’s majority of fans don’t want JJ back…it’s the fact that WE ALL KNOW KNOW KNOW that he is NOT worth 20 million a year. If the ASG gives him 20 million a year…I’m sorry, but this franchise, as always, is handicapped for the next 6 years. That is a lot of money for a very good player…not a GREAT player…GREAT players make an appearance in the post season.

Air Zaza

June 30th, 2010
11:12 am

If Atlanta doesn’t sign Joe and make a blockbuster deal around Josh Smith, it will be hard to support this team next season. I truly see this franchise becoming a joke if they aren’t already.

Steve

June 30th, 2010
11:12 am

I, for one, want JJ back. I do trust Sund to do the best he can with the financial constraints he has put upon him by ASG. And Joe will only be 34 at the end of a 6 yr. contract, not 35. This yr. 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 (6 yrs.) Will turn 35 that summer after the last season. Maybe we can do a 6 yr. for slightly less than the max?