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.