Johnson Back In Hawks’ Fold

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Joe Johnson’s No. 2 Hawks jersey won’t be going anywhere now that he has agreed to stick around for a few more years, accepting the six-year, $119 million deal offered on July 1.

What’s been at issue, mostly for Hawks fans, is what else the team will be able to do with him on a maximum contract.

If you listen to Johnson’s agent, Arn Tellem, there’s quite a bit more in store. In Tellem’s blog on the Huffington Post, he sheds some interesting light on Johnson’s decade-old journey through the league, the run-up to and through free agency and a potential target named [LeBron] James.

Someone’s probably going to end up with a tampering fine somewhere …oh, that’s right, we can all speak freely now:

Before becoming a free agent, Joe focused on the Hawks, the Bulls and the Knicks. Chicago offered him a chance to play with the brilliant point guard Derrick Rose and a tough young center, Joakim Noah. A further incentive: the roster included Joe’s great friend Jannero Pargo, one of his college teammates. New York has Mike D’Antoni, the coach who nurtured Joe in Phoenix. Joe loved playing for D’Antoni and was excited by the possibility of joining him in New York. It seemed like a perfect match: a tenacious player who never naps oncourt in the city that never sleeps.

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.

LeBron, you’ve already met with the front offices of six teams. How about considering the Hawks?

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62 Comments

  1. nordak says:

    wow. theres a lotta hate getting thrown in joes corner on this forum. i think atlanta is smart for locking him down. they have improved consistantley with him and Josh Smith on the wings over the years. not to mention the fan base in atlanta has to love him and relise that theyre are not that many free agents worth that much. you allways have to overspend in the freeagent market any ways they are a solid team and have alot of time to get better eventually they will scoop up a legit big man and make a splash in the third round.
    ps. david lee in a sign and trade for Zaza?
    unless the knicks wana offer him the max as well…

  2. Dongz23 says:

    Salmons and johnson are almost the same player. . or maybe Salmons was better than joe the previous playoffs round. .Salmons agreed with almost 8 million a year with bucks while joe is receiving 20 million a year. Really ? with almost the same production in a very different contracts. . . .for those who wants to argue with me just try to watch the first round game of the Playoffs between the BUcks and the Hawks to see that everything i said here is for real . . . . .

  3. Dongz23 says:

    Very BAD Decision. .

  4. love says:

    hey.joe.go!

  5. birdman says:

    i agree. please believe joe

  6. vaughn moody says:

    Well said oldhawk

  7. vaughn moody says:

    Joe is a top ten shooting guard and there are almost 70 shooting guards in the league. He deserves it

  8. Phantasia says:

    $119 million for Joe Johnson? This could only mean the Hawks are settling for mediocre results like they have the past couple of seasons. Any contract that involves millions in triple figures is a million too much. Good for his pocket, but bad for the Hawks since his value does not equal his performance nor his stats. Only players that will likely produce significant wins for their respective clubs for at least 3-5 seasons are worth this kind of money. Statistically, Joe Johnson will not produce this contracts’ worth. Josh Smith is (statistically) the best player on the Hawks roster. My opinions is that he too is not worth that kind of money (but more than Joe), but he’s an excellent addition (not a game changing player) to ANY team. They won’t have the cap to offer him the same kind of money Joe is making. Offering him less than Joe is disrepecting his numbers and impact on the team and therefore I hope he walks when his contract expires.

  9. Oldhawk says:

    Yes Joe Johnson is a superstar thats why he’s being mentioned as a top free agent, he might not be the caliber of Lebron or Dwayne but he is a great player with all around numbers no he might not bring a championship to atlanta but then again with the exception of miami only five teams have won it all in the last 20 years or so, so championships come hard to ALL teams , the hawks have a very good team and can only get better in time —-GO HAWKS!!!!

  10. Rasiman says:

    One most thing I forget. Joe Johnson is not a crown drawer.

    Atlanta is still not a Semifinal caliber team. They may win any 1st round series then on the semifinals, they still can’t match the likes of Cavs, Magic and Celtics. Why this Atlanta team just want a team that can only reached the playoffs and that’s it. Atlanta is not thinking about Championships. Horford, Josh Smith and Crawford are really good complementary guys. They really need a go to guy not with the like of Joe Johnson. Johnson is a boring type of player.

    Trade is a big option.

  11. Excuse Me! says:

    I’d rather pay John Salmons half the money.

  12. Dongz23 says:

    It doesnt make since for the hawks. . hawks will not win any ring while joe is their main man. . . believe me, or maybe, its pretty obvious. .sorry to the hawks management. . Pretty sure people in Atlanta is not happy of your choice. . . .

  13. arn says:

    Got a feeling that the other 29 teams are grinning.. one less team to worry about in the play-offs.. What the Hawks did was no where near rebuilding nor improving, they are just spending too much. Joe is a good player, but not a cornerstone for any team..not by a long shot..

  14. GM says:

    Say what you will about Joe Johnson, but he is easily the best player on the squad and losing him would have been a huge mistake. He’s 29 years old, and he still has plenty of years left in him. Yes, that is a lot of money, but this was the Hawks only option. If they didn’t resign Joe Johnson, they would have been left with $7 million to play with in Free Agency, which is nothing. If they lost Joe, Crawford would take his spot in the starting line up and the Hawks would have no bench. The interesting thing about resigning your own Free Agents is the fact that you can go over the salary cap. Now they are over the cap, but who cares? They wouldn’t have been able to do much with $7 million. At least now they have Joe Johnson and if they want to add players, they can always trade someone else.

    Rumors say Josh Childress is coming back to the NBA this season, and the Hawks still own the rights to his contract. I loved Childress and I hope he can come back and add depth to the bench. But if they decide to trade him (and several teams are interested), the Hawks will still be able to make an upgrade to their team without losing anyone who was on their roster last season. Any way you look at it, the Hawks will be a better team next year Don’t forget, Larry Drew is taking over as head coach. Woodson had a good run, but I’m willing to bet the Hawks improved their record each year during his tenure because of the upgrades they made to their roster. I think it had little to do with Woody’s coaching ability.

    The one thing I didn’t understand about this article was when they mentioned Joe recruiting other Free Agents to join Atlanta (and even tried to get our hopes up by mentioning Lebron James). I don’t see how that’s possible unless Lebron is willing to play for a minimum salary or the mid-level exception and that is obviously not going to happen. I’m curious to know who the Hawks are interested in signing. I doubt the Hawks can afford any of the Top 10-20 Free Agents, but they can still pick up some quality players for cheap.

    Realistically, the Hawks probably can’t do much, but adding a few quality role players is always a possibility and it would be a great investment come playoff time. We can also use a decent backup for Horford at center, especially since he isn’t a true center. As much as I love him and his game, Horford can’t match up against guys like Dwight Howard. The Hawks need a big body, and they need to give Jeff Teague more chances next season. He looked great last year in the limited minutes he played. He would be my staring PG next season. Bibby can’t keep up with a lot of the PG’s in the league. Not only has he passed his prime, but he’s is a poor defender. What’s the point in having him jack up 3’s when he’s just gonna give up a basket right back on the other end of the court. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a solid clutch player who could be a perfect role player for us coming off the bench.

    In all honesty, I don’t think the Hawks need much. They played very well against top tier teams all year last season. What they need to do is stop having these meltdowns in the second round of the playoffs. I’m hoping Larry Drew can help change that. Go Hawks!

  15. J says:

    the hawks made this deal probably coz they felt JJ fits well in the current starting lineup and it wud’v been difficult to replace him.. but this looks a lot like the rashard lewis contract orlando gave him a few years back b4 dwight howard became the man.. anyway hawks have a very formidable front court in al horford, josh smith, and marvin williams to build on.. and joe johnson is actually probably worth only about 3/4 of that 119 mil

  16. the jerk says:

    Good luck atlanta,.You’ll need it..Good luck with a no good over rated star player!

  17. J-DoT says:

    umm… this is just absurd. I don’t understand why the Hawks still insist on Joe Johnson as their go-to player. Isnt it obvious already that he isn’t a team leader?

  18. Cliff says:

    Are you serious! Joe Johnson? we’re talking about Joe Johnson? Max contract? No wonder why Celtics and Lakers have won that many championships. These other teams have no clue how on run a team.

  19. ThaFan says:

    They could have gotten Lebron or Wade with less money and even add someone else to re-enforce the team, but instead they decide to give Joe all their money. what a waste !!!

  20. brent says:

    i don’t think the Atlanta doing the right thing if i was joe i should team up with lebron they can be a micheal jordan and scottie pippen millenuim version do don’t need money, Money with out a championship ring is nothing in nba…

  21. Rasiman says:

    Joe Johnson for a maximum contract??? come on atlanta, joe is not the man to win a championship or even to win just a semifinals series.

    Joe is not a quality player compared to kobe, lebron, wade, melo or amare. why would he get a maximum contract?

    Atlanta should have offered lebron a deal. Lebron is a good fit for Josh Smith, Horford a good point guard Bibby and a 3 point shooter Crawford.

    Atlanta is really a good team without Johnson. Trade Johnson with Wade. And it’s a guarantee that Atlanta can win a semifinals series or even a championship.

    That’s my thought.

  22. WalliWorld says:

    I GOTTA SAY A FEW MORE THINGS… YEAH THEY OVERPAYED HIM BUT THEY NEED A JOE JOHNSON…MY QUESTION ALL ALONG IS WHAT IS RICK SUND GONNA DO ABOUT ALTERING THE TEAM BECAUSE MIKE WOODSON WASN’T A BAD COACH BUT I BELIEVE HE LOST HIS PLAYERS ENTHUSIASM TO WIN.. SO NOW WE GOTTA SEE WHAT DREW CAN DO. BUT A COACH SHOULDNT HAVE TO TEACH HEART AND LAST PLAYOFF THEY DIDNT PLAY WITH HEART SO I WANNA SEE SOME CHANGE,,, A BIG CHANGE LIKE A 7 FOOTER CHANGE. A NEW COACH IS NOT GOING TO GET US BUT SO FAR WITH THE SAME TALENT. WOULDNT MIND GIVING UP BIBBY OR KEEPIN HIM AT A LOWER PRICE COMING OFF THE BENCH. AND JAMAL NEEDS TO START. ID SAY GOOD BYE TO MARVIN WILLIAMS BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE IF HE DOESNT SHOW AND PROVE. I MEAN WE GOT SOME PIECES TO MAKE MOVES WITH AND I WANNA SEE SOME MOVEMENT ON THE EXECUTIVE SIDE AND ON THE COURT.. OR DO I NEED TO APPLY WITH ONE THE GEARON BROTHERS AND SEE IF THEY AGREE. I MEAN WHY SPEND ALL THE MONEY FOR A SUB-PAR TEAM? ATLANTA FANS ONLY GONNA SUPPORT U IF U EXCITE THEM. WE WANNA BRAG.. GIVE US A REASON TO BRAG ON THE HAWKS LIKE DOMINIQUE AND DOC RIVERS DID BACK IN THE GOOD OL DAYS

  23. WalliWorld says:

    4 ALL U FAKE HAWK FANS… MOSTLY FROM OTHER CITIES AND NOT EVEN TRUE ATLANTANS. NO.1 GOOD MOVE HAWKS BECAUSE IF THEY DIDNT KEEP JOE WHO WAS THEY GOING TO GET DUMMIES? NOW ALL THEY HAVE TO GET IS AMARE, CHRIS BOSH, OR DAVID LEE & A DECENT POINT GUARD LIKE KIRK HINRICH. SO PLEEEEEEEEZZZ!! ALL U FAKERS AND HATERS STOP OFFERING YOUR ADVICE ABOUT A TEAM U DONT EVEN LIKE OR NOT EVEN A FAN OF ATTEMPTING TO SHOW CONCERN WHEN THERE’S NONE THERE. LIKE THE SONG GOES IF U DONT LIKE WHERE I STAY FLY AWAY!!

  24. james says:

    by offering him a max deal they are putting him up there wit lebron and d-wade. are you serious!!!!!!!!!the hawks are the most stupid franchise in basketball. first they fire the coach that has improved them each year now this. what the heck are they thinking

  25. austin says:

    yea chris bosh told us earlier in the year to not get excited about this whole free agent thing. i mean i honestly think he’s right. i think its possible everyone stays put. i think its funny because i think ( along with maybe amare ) chris bosh is the only guy who really needs to change teams. i mean toronto is not doing it for him

  26. Brian says:

    I agree with the fact that the Hawks could potentially become a much better team if they change what they run on offense with the new coach. More involvement by the rest of the team could result in less scoring by Johnson, but this would likely result in a more consistent offensive attack.

    I still think we need a true center. Horford is great, but would make an even better power forward. Maybe we could trade Marvin Williams or more likely Josh Smith for the rights to a high caliber center. Williams is currently getting paid too much for his production, but then again, how often did the Hawks actually run plays to him last year?

    An idealistic trade scenario would have the Hawks trading Williams and Smith to the Kings for Cousins and draft picks down the road. The Hawks move Horford to PF, start Cousins at Center and have money to go after LeBron. Hey…I said it was idealistic.

  27. boom says:

    jesus christ, that’s 5 billion, 712 million pesos if converted in our country’s currency! he’ll be wealthier than our president. hahaha. and all he has to do is play basketball for six years. damn.

  28. Thoughts says:

    Did anyone really think this man wouldn’t follow the money?? Did everyone forget that he left a contender in Phoenix?

  29. the truth says:

    If your not all offense and defense and/or taken your team to the finals you don’t deserve 20 million a year

    Kobe,lebron,wade,dwight, …..johnshon isn’t in the same caliber as them.

  30. Allen says:

    I don’t think this is a good deal for Hawks.

    Johnson can not play well for that long!

  31. Lionel says:

    I agree

  32. JT says:

    They signed him for a max contract? Does that mean they could’ve gotten one of the Big three free agents? I can live with Wade or James on the Hawks =D. Plus our supoorting cast is better than Chicago’s

  33. noahbanks92 says:

    Joe would have had to be insane not to sign that deal. Almost as insane as Atlanta is for offering it to him.

  34. Wanna C a Ring says:

    Uhhhmmm if he really does not wanna be here…is REALLY incapable of leading us past the second round…WHY the heck are we locking him and this city into a 6 years of mediocrity…?

  35. david s says:

    WELCOME BACK JOE #2

    GOOD MOVE! HAWKS ARE SOLID, NOW LETS MAKE ANOTHER MOVE AND THEN LET DREW INSTALL HIS NEW OFFENSE AND WE WILL BE BETTER. IF DREW FOLLOWS THROUGH ON HIS PROMISE OF A TRUE MOTION OFFENSE WITH ALL 5 GUYS INVOLVED (AT THE SAME TIME) WE CAN FINALLY BE THE ATHLETIC TEAM WE SHOULD BE. OUR POINT GUARD HAS TO MAKE US AN UP TEMPO RUNNING TEAM. JOE JOHNSON WILL BE EVEN BETTER IN A MOTION OFFENSE W/O SO MUCH PRESSURE TO DRIBBLE AND FORCE SHOTS BECAUSE THAT WAS THE PLAN. THE MAIN PROBLEM LAST YEAR WAS THE YOUNGER PLAYERS WERE TOLD TO STAND AROUND ON OFFENSE WHILE JOE AND JAMAL TOOK ALL THE SHOTS, SO ALL THE YOUNG ATHLETIC ENERGY WAS SUCKED OUT OF THE TEAM.

  36. CP3 says:

    Good move by Joe , if the Hawks can sign another good player , they will be tough to beat with J-Smoove & the young rising star Al Horford , but they have to sign a true point guard , Bibby is more a shooter than a passer , They need a good point guard who can run the show and pass the ball well.

  37. Welcome back Joe! Everyone thinks you are too quiet, but I know that in your heart you are a champion. I am looking forward to watching you and my Atlanta Hawks. GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

  38. JayStoneInc says:

    Good…..That means no NY for J.J. We need true SUPERSTARS…not just an All-Star!!! J.J. would have fallen like bricks in NY, just like the bricks he threw in the last playoff game he played in 2010!!!

  39. Ronald D. 52nge says:

    A best move for Joe… in terms of Loyalty, Fans and Money..
    But for Championship we don’t know yet.. But Hope Atlanta will get BIG Man for their Center..

  40. Tim says:

    I mean that’s almost as bad as committing 110+ mil to Rashard Lewis!

  41. Bunty says:

    Joe is atlantas heart.

  42. Tim says:

    I feel sorry for Atlanta fans. That’s clearly overpaying him, based on his possible services. Sure, he’d get a max from somewhere (NY or NJ) but that doesn’t say he deserves one.

  43. Mario Javier says:

    I want to wish him all the best. Here is a man that knows his priorities. Unlike some of the FA right now that only wanted the money. Joe Johnson you are now my hero and I hope Atlanta does well next season.

  44. A1Raparent says:

    With his playoff performance, I don’t think he deserved the max. He’s over-rated.

  45. Da Man says:

    Now we just need to trade for Gilbert Arenas, seeing as they want Josh Childress.

  46. vijay says:

    Guess the max deal didn’t hurt. 119mil, I would’ve wondered what to do myself (sarcasm). My only question is can Atlanta afford with their current roster another max player the caliber of Lebron James. Anyways, I(a Lakers fan) would wonder what the Hawks can do to take their team from a clear 4th ranked team out East, to a serious contender. After being dismissed by an average of 20 pts per game, that team clearly needs something doing to it. Good Luck Joe and Hawks fans next season.

    Another thing, quite a luke warm free agent period, every body just re upping thus far. Only really now that initial free agents, where there are going to land. The only real surprise or question is where will Bosh land, for my money Lebron will more than likely re-up as well and Wade will try to lure someone with him, where ever he ends up.

  47. Alex says:

    Shocking, WTF are the Hawks thinking??? LMAO…

  48. Corey Pullium says:

    Why!!!!???? Who thinks that paying an inconsistent wanna be superstar 119 Million dollars to keep finishing their season in the second round of the play offs. The hawks have reached their pinnacle with this team, and now we have no money to bring anyone in. We also can’t begin to rebuild a better team around Horford and Smith. The Hawks will remain mediocre for another six years. Is this supposed to please me as a fan???
    Joe is a great baller, but a bad leader. What were they thinking?

  49. stifler says:

    the hawks have no chance at winning without a great coach and a dominant inside man – of which they have neither – if he went to chicago or NY with Amare then he had a good chance at it in the next 2-3 years 0 but staying in ATL says it is clear JJ is playing for the only only, not for a championship

  50. Dorian Law says:

    The Atlanta Hawks is by far the best fit for LeBron James.He would have the necessary tools around him to be a champion, he would be a media icon in a city that needs one, and Atlanta could send players to Cleveland that no other team in the league can match. So move over T.I, there may be a new King of the South!

  51. zebra7 says:

    Well good for him, but now we know it’s about the money and not trying to win championships. Atlanta doesnt have a chance hope he enjoys getting put out of the playoffs in the second round every year.

  52. Tommy says:

    As long as Johnson is Atlanta’s star, this team is going nowhere. He is not a game changer. He isn’t the type of player an opposing team fears. He isn’t a leader. Simply put, he is overrated. We saw this in the playoffs this year. The Hawks will be lucky to reach the conference finals if this is their biggest weapon. Sorry Hawks fans, the truth hurts sometimes.

  53. NBAfan says:

    joe johnson? is he really a top free agent?? joe johnson? joe johnson??!!

  54. Relevancy says:

    Aha, typical money grubbing…What’s stopping atlanta from getting murdered in the playoffs again next year?

  55. Dq15 says:

    Holy moly… He’s getting paid almost 20mil a year!

  56. Jon W. says:

    Just wondering but, how in the world do the Hawks get that kinda money??????

  57. zzanzabar says:

    It looks more and more like this free agent ‘lalapalooza’ is actually a ‘dash for the cash’ before the new CBA takes effect. Players are sowing up their futures NOW getting the most out of max contracts and resigning with teams that can give them the most. Only Bosh, Boozer and Stoudemire have teams that have resigned to losing their talents. LBJ’s Cav’s can still offer him the most money and have thrown in a great coach as an extra incentive.

    I’m willing to bet that either the Nets or the Knicks are going to panic and offer too much for Boozer or Stoudemire if they are still on the market. Although it doesn’t look like it, Toronto can make out very well if it can do a ‘sign and trade’ with Bosh to a high caliber team. I know Bosh wants to be the ‘man’, but lets face it to be the MAN you are going to have to go to a team that basically sucks. But a sign and trade might land him in Denver, Houston, San Antonio or even (gasp) L.A.

  58. Amauri Ramirez says:

    I hoped he would go to the bulls with LeBron

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  60. Aten says:

    That’s the Best move Joe Johnson ever made.