Another Player For Johnson

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Dallas Mavericks remain the one team that few people outside of the Metroplex are willing to factor into this free agent frenzy as a legitimate contender for one of the top names.

That doesn’t include Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, whose sources say the Mavericks are prepared to pursue Hawks-free-agent-to-be and All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson.

Wojnarowski is one of the very best in the business, so his reports should not be treated with the same dismissive tone that we normally condone of these sorts of reports:

Johnson was raised in Arkansas and has a comfort level living in the Southwest. Johnson, 28, is facing the final major contract of his career, and sources believe he’s far less likely to sign with a team under the cap and cost himself millions than having his agent Arn Tellem aggressively pursue a sign-and-trade. Johnson is determined to get the sixth guaranteed season on a contract that could only come with re-signing in Atlanta or a sign-and-trade arrangement, sources say.

The Mavericks have a pool of talent that could entice Atlanta general manager Rick Sund into making a deal for Johnson. The Mavericks believe they’ll re-sign Dirk Nowitzki, who is expected to opt-out of his contract. They’re intrigued with a lineup that would include Johnson as the shooting guard.

The Hawks are still expected to try and sign Johnson, but sources don’t believe they’ll offer a maximum contract to him.

Having my own history with Johnson and having spoken to someone with knowledge of his thought process at this time, Johnson is not ruling out any of his free agent options, and that includes any and all sign-and-trade scenarios.

He’s well aware of the position of power he has right now, relatively speaking, of course (since pretty much the entire basketball world revolves around LeBron James until he makes his decision).

The Mavericks would present an interesting option for both Johnson and his would-be-former team if someone like Caron Butler was included in a hypothetical sign-and-trade deal.

I’ve yet to get a concrete confirmation that Johnson indeed is ready to get out of town. The Hawks still have the best shot (and the most money to offer) to keep Johnson.

But it’s clear he’s become the object of several team’s affection, particularly the ones that realize that James could very well be out of their reach.

The Hawks can end this drama with maximum contract offer of their own, and despite suggestions to the contrary, HT sources have indicated that there have been internal discussions about doing exactly that.

Bottom line, their actions seconds after midnight on Wednesday will tell us just how sincere they are about keeping Johnson.

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8 Comments

  1. Jungle Jack says:

    As a lifelong Hawks Fan, I really think you guys are wrong about JJ’s Defense. He is actually quite a good defender and a very tough Matchup being 6″7.

    I was disappointed by his Playoff Performance (as I have been in the past), but the guy is a multiple time All Star. Signing a 29 Year old to an 119 Million Dollar Contract does give me pause however. And considering the Hawks are about to do just that, whoever chooses to be in a Sign & Trade might have an onerous Contract down the road.

    Sekou, AJC is truly not the same without you…
    Cheers,
    JJ

  2. BOOGEY says:

    i COMPLETELY AGREE with DAVE! Joe johnson is pure offense and will gamble with nowitzki. while butler is a good scoring option with a defensive mind.

  3. Maxx says:

    Sekou- Do you think Joe is worth the Max for ATL?

  4. Nick says:

    WG…did you just say Joe Johnson is as good as Dirk? LOL. Dirk is still a force in the NBA, the Mavs just didn’t have a solid number 2 to step up and relieve the double team. Caron is decent, but not a good enough shooter. Jet is too small and streaky to be considered reliable. Kidd was arguably the 2nd best scorer for a while, if that tells you anything. With that being said, I don’t know if Joe Johnson is the answer, but it will be an upgrade over what is in place now.

  5. WG says:

    Why would he do that? Sign to Dallas? He an just as good of shot at the Finals in Atlanta.
    Joe Johnson has said he wanted to be the 2nd go to guy on a team, Im not convinced that Dirk is that much better for that to happen. Plus with Josh Smith improving the kid could put up 20, 8, 4, 2, 2 a night next season.

  6. TEAC says:

    Don’t go Joe. You and Jason can’t mix together.

  7. DAVE says:

    I think joe would be a great addition to any team that signs him you could never go wrong with a point forward but i dont believe this is the best desicion for the mavs i believe it make that much of a difference if we had joe rather than caron it might be worse because with caron there is a defensive presence with joe its all O
    i beieve we should pursue two current nba players and thats chris bosh or al jefferson via trade all though it would be nice to have james be the king of big d
    if we dont pick any of these guy up i say go lower in the food chain i think we should pursue unsigned draftee’s such as brian Z or an international young big man with so many not being drafted maybe the 7’4 footer from serbia Miroslav Raduljica or 7’1 center/forward from russia Artem Zabelin great potential here and get a great young man in dallas like big Z or miller to teach a thing or two so the can become capible starters with the rare nba iq that they’ve learned from guys like z or miller

  8. ZULU says:

    Don’t go now Joe. Coach Drew plans to have a few new offensive schemes. Plus, you will have to work that much harder for that BIG check.