NBA  > General NBA  > Atlanta Hawks - OFFSEASON breakdown.
May 23, 2010, 03:07 AM
Offseason I see them resigning West & Collins. That's the easy part.
The hard part is what to do with Joe Johnson. he turned down a 4 year 60 million deal last year, and with 8 MAX slots available, he is easily in the top 8 players out there, even with his 20+ PPG, 4.5 RPG and 5+ APG, I would not give him MAX money, as I personally don't feel he is a MAX player. There seems to be something missing from him at the end of the fourth that just isn't there- I think he could be the best second banana since Pippen with the right MJ.

The Hawks have to offer the MAX for 3 reasons:

1. He's by far their best player since 'Nique
2. He's 29 with out too many miles on him, has only had 1 season in ATL where he missed more than 6 games (2006-7)
3. He leaves and Atlanta is dead at the box office.

Joe Johnson, just like LeBron and Bosh, can kill the market with leaving, the chances of the Hawks replacing him with another free agent is laughable, so they will most likely have to fill needs with second and third tier guys. Josh Childress is still out there, so its possible they could get something for him and Joe.

Three Scenarios

1. Joe Johnson resigns when every other MAX guy signs and he does not look forward to seeing himself winning 15 games a year in NY waiting on Melo in 2011

2. Work a sign and trade somewhere to get something for Joe Johnson. New York is out, he will make more than every salary they have coming back almost, Even a sign a trade for Lee leaves NY about 10M short to get JJ's range. Same with Miami, unless ATL just had to have Haslem and Beasley for some reason- even though Mario Chalmers might be a good addition. Chicago has parts for a three teamer though, so maybe the Hawks end up with Lee and Hinrich? (Hinrich is 9M, Lee can be close to 8M)

3. Joe Johnson takes off and the Hawks play in front of 5K for the next year.

FULL report at tm


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