Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I Still Don't Have a Good Feeling About This

Sekou Smith reports that Rick Sund is scheduled to discuss a contract extension with Joe Johnson's representatives:
Multiple sources have confirmed that Hawks general manager Rick Sund is on an extended trip to the left coast, and part of his itinerary includes time in Los Angeles for face-to-face talks about a contract extension with Johnson’s camp.
Johnson is only 28 but has a ton of mileage* on his legs and is simply not a good enough player, even at his peak, for it to make sense for a team with any aspirations to contend for a championship to allocate roughly 30% of its cap room to him as he enters his thirties.

*Johnson's NBA rank in minutes played: 1st (2003-04), 4th (2004-05), 3rd (2005-06), NR (but 41.4 minutes per game over 57 games) (2006-07), 3rd (2007-08), 2nd (2008-09)

With Al Horford under team control at a bargain price for at least three more seasons, Josh Smith signed to a reasonable deal through his age 28 season, and Marvin Williams rumored to be on the verge of signing a long-term deal at a fair price the Hawks have the opportunity to build around a young frontcourt core but if they shackle that trio as it ascends to its (collective) peak with veteran guards in their (collective) decline phase it's difficult to envision how this team gets significantly better barring Jeff Teague fulfilling the wildest expectations one might have for him.

The cost of acquiring Joe Johnson was essentially a value neutral move. Re-signing him either for the long-term or at anything close to his current cost threatens to be an outright damaging move for the franchise's future.


thirdfalcon said...

can we extend him for anything less than the max? I wouldn't mind extending him for say 10 million a year. But if we are talking about another max deal this is idiotic.

Bret LaGree said...

My guess is that the Hawks best chance at re-signing him to a bargain deal would involve the risk (from the team's point of view) of letting Johnson's current contract expire and allow him to enter the free agent market where he, like Mike Bibby this summer, would realize that he's not likely to get a better combination of money and central role than he will in Atlanta.

Complicating my feelings about re-signing, trading, or letting Johnson play out his current deal is that I don't feel confident that I've got a firm grasp of his perceived value throughout the league.

thirdfalcon said...

My feeling on that is that I don't think anyone but us would give him a max deal. I think he is probably overpaid by about 3 or 4 million right now, but when you consider that allot of teams have been planning for several years to have cap space for this summer, I could easily see a team like New York overpaying for him to save face if they can't sign Lebron, Wade, or Bosh.

I'm not sure I have the best grasp on Joe's value around the league either, but it doesn't seem like a terrible idea to try to extend him while league revenue is down and looking to go down more. In other words, the Hawks might be trying to buy low.

However, I don't really understand what the CBA mandates in a situation like this either. Is there any limit to how much of a paycut a max player can take when being extended?

jrauch said...

Ye Gods. Watching the iso-Joe when he's 34 will be less fun than it is now.

M said...

My stance is this club is a better team with Joe. Someone around the league will pay him the same dollars we will pay him... so what happens if we dont re-sign him and we dont get anyone relevant next summer. I advocate signing him at the end of this season as opposed to right now.

Joe said...

I can tell you for certain that Sund was the guy who extended Ray Allen at about the same age FWIW. I thought he was crazy then. But once a player who is entering the far side of his prime gets extended, it's just a matter of time before he becomes a salary dump with a smile on it.

Jonathan said...

I agree, but if we do not resign him by the time crawford and bibby are off of the books we won't have enough money to sign anybody else because by that time al horford will be past due on his pay day.

Sign Joe johnson to something extremely cheap and reasonable and then trade him for the missing piece or pieces a year or two from now.