Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cap Space Ahoy!

Joe Johnson won't be signing the extension offered by the Hawks:
"My sole focus right now is on this team and what we're trying to accomplish this season. I have some goals set for this season for my team and I have some individual goals set for myself as well. I really feel like this team is ready to take that step to the next level. I also feel like I can be one of the elite players in this league, I feel like I'm right there, so it's going to be an exciting year."
I believe Joe Johnson just kept the organization from shooting itself in the foot.

9 comments:

CoCo said...

Be honest, you saved a bottle of champagne for this moment didn't you???

JDS said...

This is very good news.

Ben Castellon said...

What are we gonna do if he goes to NY or Chicago?

Bret LaGree said...

Start attempting to build a team that can challenge for a championship, one hopes.

Karry said...

I dont get it. If he goes, who are we going to get? What is the likelihood of signing a better player? I just dont see how the Hawks get better in the short term ( please no long term projections.I cant deal with another rebuilding effort)without allowing Joe to leave unless by some stroke of good luck we land a bigger free agent.

Karry said...

Bret,
Please explain to me how allowing Joe to go helps us build for a championship? Please give me scenerios( players etc).PLEAASE

Bret LaGree said...

As they're currently proving, you can't build a championship team by trading a league average player and two first round picks for the right to pay Joe Johnson a max contract to be a team's focal point. That's before one accounts for the very real possibility that Johnson's presence influenced the team's decisions not to draft Paul or Deron Williams or Brandon Roy when given the chance.

None of that is Joe Johnson's fault nor does it mean he's not a fine basketball. However, I suspect that the wear-and-tear Johnson's experienced, both in Phoenix and in Atlanta, will cause/has caused him to peak early. If he's a fringe All-Star at this peak what will his decline phase look like? I wouldn't pay $60 million for the privilege of discovering that over the course of four potentially long years.

By not signing the extension, Johnson has given the Hawks the opportunity to sign him after the season for fewer years/less money or let him go and invest the money that would have gone to Johnson plus Josh Childress's rights plus, one hopes, Jamal Crawford's expiring contract into acquiring a true franchise player or multiple players that will complement the young (and potentially improving) core of Smith, Horford, Williams, and Teague and the reasonably priced veteran role players (Bibby, Pachulia, Evans).

Bronn said...

But if the projections for next year's cap figures are accurate, we're going to be over the cap whether JJ is a member of the Hawks, if my math is right.

Of course, that's assuming there's no Jamal Crawford trade in the works, and I suspect he's a huge candidate to be traded.

Bret LaGree said...

No doubt, losing Joe Johnson does not equal cap space in and of itself but one would think that in his absence the team might be motivated to get something for Josh Childress, trade Crawford's expiring contract (wait, there might be a downside cap-wise to acquiring $19 million worth of Jamal Crawford's contract), and explore their sign-and-trade options in free agency.