That is one of the most bizzarre contract moves I've ever seen in my life to be honest. I want an explaination from a Hawks fan as to why that makes any sense at all.
First off, its a really alienated fan base. He in particular, as well as the whole team, had the biggest stinker of a series ive ever seen.
Second, his role on the team is totally replacable. They have the best young frontcourt in the league, Crawford proved a capable scorer for them, Teague showed potential, and they Drafted Jordan Crawford to score on the wing as well. For the money they spent on Johnson, they could have got a solid wing or a solid post, saved some money, and got more shots to some guys that could really use them. Teague, Horford, and Marvin Williams are all young guys with potential that could effectively take more shots for them.
Thats not to say Johnson wouldn't be a loss, but that guy is going to be 34 making almost 30 million a season towards there cap by the end of this deal.
I think the Hawks can compete the next 2 years or so, but I don't know how they are going to get Josh Smith and Horford their money after this deal, and I think Both Smith and Horford are more important and valuable pieces than Johnson.
It's pretty simple. They want to win now and you have to overpay at least sometimes in order to do so.
If they didn't sign him they wouldn't make the playoffs this season.
If they let JJ walk and start Crawford he'd destroy their chemistry and kill his trade value while his value is high as a 6th man and not a ball hoggin chucker...Keep Jamal on the bench, make him look good and then trade him for a big man...
Crawford, Teague and Crawford are the best young front court??? That's news to me, but whatever. And yeah, if the Hawks wanted win to anything soon, they had to do this deal. If anything, they can afford to dump Marvin Williams next year so they will be able to try and keep Horford and Smith. They overpaid out the azz for Johnson, but if they had let him walk, what would they have gotten in return? Nothing. No playoffs, no chance of being a contender in the immediate future. Bad deal that had to be done, it's a crappy way to view it, but the facts are facts...
and maybe another shooter...
I would have Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford on the Block....And I'd be hoping and praying someone offers up a top 5 center and Sf in return...
What about this deal for Hawks...
Baron Davis, Chris Kaman and Aminu...for Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford and Zaza Pachula...move some picks if they won't break...
Frontcourt is your bigmen hahaha. Backcourt is guards. I don't think they would have an elite backcourt, or even a good one, without Johnson, but I was just making the point that they had enough options to not have to drop 120 mil in one place to fix it. Thats just dumb to me, probably the dumbest contract I've ever seen to be honest. Joe Johnson isn't a winner as the number 1 option, that team would still be competitive in the East without him. Josh Smith and Horford entering their prime will eat people, Marvin is a solid starter, and Teague will be a baller at point. Between the 2 Crawfords, and whoever else they could have signed for a "little less" than 120 million would make that team plenty competitive. Just as competitive as they are now.
The bottom line IMO is that this move ensures the Hawks will not be able to be competitive for a title until the end of this contract. Especially if the cap goes down, by the end of this monster deal he will be Half a teams salary. This is a pure numbers guy who let a hobbled to say the least Bucks team almost bury them first round, only to literally get run out of the Gym in the second round. Shooting Guards are the easiest position to find, there are plenty of guys that can get the job done at that spot. You only give franchise cornerstones who are irreplacable that kind of money.
they're not going to trade away their starting point guard when summer league proved eric bledose is not yet capable of running a team
Ok here's my view on things as an avid Hawks fan. When the deal first went down I was livid. I couldn't believe that we would give that much money to JJ. He went from one of my most underrated players to one of the most overpaid players. Joe really alienated himself this past postseason. He failed to perform in the playoffs and let Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jamal Crawford take control of the team. JJ then had the audacity to go back at the ATL fans who helped make him into the star he is. I definitely thought that the bridge was burned to no return. The most alarming fact with me is that JJ has seem to plateaued. Since we got him from the Suns he was constantly improving but now that it seems like his growth has stopped now that some of the youngsters are developing into their own. That truly makes me wonder if he was just a good performer on a bad team. The sad thing is that in the 2008 playoffs Joe showed signs of being a flat out superstar. In their surprise 7 game series against the eventual champion Celtics, Joe single handily took down the world champs. He made every clutch shot, he was able to penetrate past Paul Pierce and hit over Garnett at will. What I wonder is what happened the past two years with even better rosters. It was truly sad to see the Hawks only squeak by an over matched Bucks team with Bogut. It really makes me question Joe as a leader. The thing I've noticed is that the Hawks have been blown out in almost every single road playoff game the past 4 years. A true leader would never let that happen. The Hawks haven't been blown out for lack of talent, but complete lack of effort. I've noticed that Joe lacks the ability to motivate his teammates. If anything I've realized that Al Horford has become the vocal leader and Josh Smith has become the energizer on court. Joe's game really declined big time this year. He started giving less effort on defense, and worst the once great shooter became mediocre with bad shot selection. This is extremely alarming given that he was in a contract year. With how bad he played this offseason I truly thought 5 years/70 mil would be the max he'd get.
Ok sorry for that long rant but as for the contract I believe it is ridiculous to give someone his age a 6 year contract. He's a All-star no doubt but he's not worth that. It's not the annual salary that bugs me it's the length. If we gave him the same annual salary but 4 years/80 mil you wouldn't hear a peep out of me. Joe will be an Allstar for the first 3 or 4 years of his contract, but those last 2 years of his contract will be horrible as by then he'll probably be a 15+4 guy.
Now for my justification of the signing there are a few points I'd like to make. Firstly the Hawks organization has a rich history of losing. The fan base until JJ came was shot. It was so bad that we almost took Yi over Horford just to stimulate the Asian fan base in Atlanta. Joe did kind of turn the fortunes for us. Here's a guy who would have had the same money from a championship contending Suns, but he asked the Suns not to match his offer because instead of being a #3 or 4 with the Suns, he wanted to run the show for Atlanta. I think some loyalty has to be placed there. Back to my point of the Hawks being perennial losers, I think Hawks management has realized that for the first time we are perennially in the playoffs. I think even if we never make a conference finals management is just happy with a winning environment. Next the Hawks weren't left with a bunch of options. Had we chosen not to re-sign JJ we'd only have like 8-9 mil in cap room. That wouldn't even be enough to get Salmons who signed early anyways. We really wouldn't be able to replace him and that would make 3 huge holes in the starting lineup with our struggles at PG and SF with the ever more dissapointing Mavin Williams. Really prying Mike Miller from Miami for 8 mil a year would have been our only option.
Now as far as the money while absurd, Joe will be an Allstar for at least the first 3 or 4 years of the contract. Maybe he doesn't earn the full 20 mil a year but he'll be worth at least 13 or 14 mil a year. Now the last 2 years of the contract have potential to be bad, but in that last year a 20 mil expiring he's worth a hell of a lot given that the NBA is structured not to trade players but contracts.
My whole point is that I don't agree with the years of the contract and it does somewhat but a financial crutch on the team as we have to extend Horford, but there are definitely some unseen pluses in keeping Joe Johnson. The fact is that ATL will probably never be a FA destination for a big name, so maybe FO is content with being a 4 or 5 team in the west and a couple of 2nd round visits for the next 5 years. Really Horford is the only main piece that needs to be locked up with Josh Smith being locked up until 2014. It is now integral before next summer and the upcoming free agency of Al Horford that the Hawks find a way to move the contracts of Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby, and Zaza Pachulia. You could however always explore trading Horford as he undoubtedly will make a lot more money that Josh Smith when he signs and TBH they are both PF's and Josh is more loved by fans and more versatile as a player. Horford's extension no doubt is going to be the same as the max Rudy Gay got. The last 3 years of Josh's contract he will make 37 million. Over that same time Horford is likely to make 50 mil.