ATLANTA - APRIL 20: Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots over Luc Richard Mbah a Moute #12 of the Milwaukee Bucks at Philips Arena on April 20, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Joe Johnson Accepts Hawks' Six-Year, $123.7 Million Offer

For more on the Hawks, please visit Peachtree Hoops.

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Joe Johnson Accepts Hawks' Six-Year, $123.7 Million Offer

In quite possibly the biggest NBA free agency news of the day*, Joe has signed the Hawks' maximum-money offer:

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We've said all we can say on Joe Johnson's new contract, so let's hear from the man himself. Via Sporting News Radio:

"Although I explored several different opportunities this offseason, Atlanta was the place I wanted to be," Johnson said. "I truly appreciate the commitment shown by the Hawks and the team’s ownership, and their continued efforts to improve the team. Staying in Atlanta provides the best opportunity to win today and in the future. My five years with the Hawks have been the best of my career, and I look forward to my teammates and I trying to reach our ultimate goal together – competing for a championship for the city of Atlanta."

 

* No.

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Rumor: With Joe Johnson Aboard, Hawks Look To Add Shaq?

From Fanhouse, via Hoopinion:

Free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal is seriously considering a two-year deal with the Hawks that starts at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million, according to NBA sources close to both the team and the future Hall of Fame player. ... "I think he wants to see how everything shakes out with all the free agents, but he's seriously considering Atlanta's offer,'' said the source who asked that his name not be used. "He wants to play two more years, and he wants it to be with a contender. He thinks he can help them become a serious one."

Could legendary former Yellow Jacket Dennis Scott be one of Fanhouse's sources? He was teammates with Shaq for five seasons in Orlando (Remember Shaq played in Orlando? TANGENT: if you really want to feel old, Google shaquille recruit and look at all the youngsters who were named after Shaq and are now off to play college ball. Happy birthday, Grandpa!), after all.

Anyway, legendary former Dawg David Pollack says Dennis Scott says Shaq would like to be a Hawk:

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Hoopinion isn't exactly elated, but our own Peachtree Hoops sees a silver lining -- Al Horford, motivational speaker!

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Joe Johnson's Agent: 'When The Hawks Offered Six Years, He Happily Reciprocated.'

Arn Tellem, Joe Johnson’s agent, announced Johnson’s six-year signing via the Huffington Post-Content Pageviews Slideshow Outlet & Olde Tyme Anti-Immunization Tinfoil Hat Dispensary, Inc. for some reason.

While the line “When Joe came to Atlanta, the Hawks were NBA doormats, and not especially welcoming ones at that” isn’t exactly the most endearing thing an agent has ever written about a city, fanbase, and team, at least it’s an about-face from Johnson’s own “We could care less if [the fans] showed up or not … When I first got here, man, there were probably like 100 people out there in those seats.” Oh, nevermind — it’s actually exactly the same. Perhaps we can excuse Iso Joe’s recent bouts of self-inflation, now that we know his corner men have been telling him all along that he’s the sole savior of Atlanta Hawks basketball.

Hawks fans aren’t happy about keeping Johnson. Instead of bragging that the talent evaluator who drafted Kwame Brown thought highly of the “tenacious” (Tellem’s word) Johnson ten years ago (we’re still waiting on Jordan’s thoughts on Johnson’s playoff performances), you should have written about how great this city has been to Iso Joe and how grateful he is to acquire a gigantic raise from a cash-strapped franchise.

Basketball always has been, and always will be, the fourth game in town here, at best — behind college football, baseball, and pro football. It’s not Johnson’s fault — not even the far greater Dominique Wilkins was able to shift that balance. Regardless, Tellem’s client has made over $50 million in Atlanta, and now stands to make a whole lot more. Let’s stop acting like Hawks fans should be thanking Johnson for his gracious acceptance of a max-length, max-money offer despite not being one of the league’s 20 best players while at or very near the peak of his career.

You’re right about one thing — Johnson’s contract has certainly brought national attention to Atlanta basketball. I’d love to see Johnson become a draw for another big-name free agent, a balanced team player, and an over-competitive monster. I’d love to have to eat my words. I, and most other Hawks fans, just don’t foresee that switch getting flipped.

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Agent: Johnson To Meet With Hawks Again, Will Decide Future Soon

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com exchanged emails with Arn Tellem, Joe Johnson’s agent, and learned that the Hawks’ All-Star swingman is nearing a decision on where to sign. From Tellem’s email:

We plan to meet with the Hawks again [Thursday] to discuss the details of their offer and we hope to make a decision in the near future.

Berger wonders why Johnson would need any time to decide between a $120 million offer from the Hawks and a $90 million offer from any other team. He got an answer:

In fact, one executive within the league said that perhaps the only reason Johnson has waited this long to commit to the Hawks is that he’s enjoying the recruiting process that so many of the top free agents have coveted.

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Via Twitter, Knicks Confirm July 1 Meeting With Joe Johnson

Unless they're talking about some other Joe Johnson -- and really, how many people in the world could there be named Joe Johnson?

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Joe Johnson and Mike Miller? What, were Tom Thomas and Jane Jones not available? The 'Bockers also updated their website to include Joe as part of a chorus line of NBA free agents:

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Peachtree Hoops is podcasting on the subject.

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Hawks Prepared To Offer Johnson A Maximum Contract

Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham reports, via Twitter, that Atlanta is prepared to offer Joe Johnson a “max 6 yr Bird rights deal at start of free agency.” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports added to the conversation by asserting the report is “is devastating news to potential Joe Johnson suitors” because Johnson “wants to stay in Atlanta.”

The news may devastate Hawks fans as well. Currently, 73% of respondents to a Peachtree Hoops poll prefer Johnson sign elsewhere.

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