Saturday, July 03, 2010

Perhaps Even Joe Johnson Thinks This Is a Bad Deal For the Hawks

I still don't expect Joe Johnson to turn down tens of millions of dollars and who knows how many field goal attempts but Chris Sheridan has a provocative explanation as to why Johnson hasn't already accepted the very generous offer he's received:
Sources said Johnson was still considering whether it would be a better career move to play in New York or Chicago, and his ultimate decision would hinge upon which of the top free agents make commitments to those teams.

...

One source said the chances of Johnson accepting Atlanta's offer were "slightly" better that 50-50.
With Mike Woodson no longer around to bear the brunt of blame, Johnson may be hesitant (especially if he believes ownership is more likely to shed salary than add talent) to become the primary focal point for criticism and frustration if the team doesn't improve and Johnson needn't lack self-belief to wonder how (essentially) the same team that's gone 0-8 in second round playoff games the last two seasons is supposed to improve when its greatest change is the amount of his compensation. His (understandable) self-interest may, may, end up saving the Hawks organization from itself.

UPDATE (7/3/10 -- 9:53 AM): Sekou Smith's source ("someone in Johnson's camp") dissents:
After speaking with someone in Johnson’s camp late Friday, it’s clear that he’s in the final stages of completing an agreement with the Hawks and not checking out other options. Any delay is simply posturing. The prospect of walking away from an extra $30 million (in the sixth year of the deal he can only get from the Hawks without a sign-and-trade agreement) is simply not an option, according to the person in Johnson’s camp.

Expect a Monday announcement from Johnson.
Posturing? Either Joe Johnson can't do anything quickly or he's reduced himself to engaging in a public relations game of chicken with a seriously unpopular ownership group.

6 comments:

THHB said...

Johnson may be hesitant (especially if he believes ownership is more likely to shed salary than add talent) to become the primary focal point for criticism and frustration if the team doesn't improve and Johnson needn't lack self-belief to wonder how (essentially) the same team that's gone 0-8 in second round playoff games the last two seasons is supposed to improve when its greatest change is the amount of his compensation.

Bingo.

Jason Mann said...

Also, isn't it possible that Johnson is angling for a chance at a sign-and-trade to a team he believes has a better chance at winning a championship? Maybe he can have his $27 million and eat it, too.

Aaron said...

Nah. He knows he can make up some of that money via endorsements if he signs in a bigger market and wins a championship.

Joe knows money.

Jonathan said...

I raise my glass and toast to that idea.

I hope you are right.

jrauch said...

I disagree with the endorsements idea. Joe currently plays in one of the top ten media markets, and it isn't as if you see him in tons of car dealership commercials or plastered on billboards.

He's a quiet wallflower. Who's we're going to pay $120 million.

Peter said...

I laughed out loud at this from Arn Tellem:

''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.''

That's cute, Arn/Joe. Too bad the Hawks now have no money to sign any sort of significant FA.