The longer the weeks before free agency dragged out, sources say it’s become clearer to guard Joe Johnson(notes) that he truly wants to stay with the Atlanta Hawks.
Will the Hawks give Johnson a $119 million max contract over six years, or come close to it? It’s doubtful they will go the distance with a max offer, but that sixth guaranteed season is likely to be a difference-maker in keeping Johnson. He’ll meet with the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls on Thursday, but sources insist those major markets don’t hold much of an appeal to him.
As Yahoo! Sports reported on Monday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is determined to explore a possible sign-and-trade to acquire Johnson. The Mavericks would be an appealing destination to Johnson, who is a native of Arkansas. Johnson also would face far less pressure fitting into a talent-laden Mavericks team than he would with New York or Chicago.
Raptors look at sign-and-trade options
The Toronto Raptors have talked to six to eight teams willing to do sign-and-trades for Chris Bosh(notes), but front office sources say general manager Bryan Colangelo has ruled out bringing back the expensive contract of Bulls forward Luol Deng(notes).
Deng has four years and nearly $50 million left on his contract, and the Bulls have been dangling him as part of sign-and-trade possibilities involving Bosh, LeBron James(notes) and Joe Johnson.
Colangelo is working on possible deals, but Bosh ultimately has to want to go to the teams. Besides Chicago, Miami, New York and New Jersey, the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are determined suitors for Bosh.
Lakers eye Blake
The Los Angeles Lakers are smitten with signing free-agent point guard Steve Blake(notes), but sources believe Blake would have to take less money than the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks could be willing to offer.
Blake finished the season with the Clippers, and sources say he’s intrigued with the idea of joining the defending champion Lakers. Still, Blake is a veteran guard whom several teams value, and he could walk away with a multiyear deal totaling around $20 million-$25 million.
Celtics looking for center
Besides Brad Miller(notes), Boston has interest in acquiring Dallas center Erick Damper, especially with Kendrick Perkins(notes) sidelined six to seven months. Dampier’s $13 million salary for next season is not guaranteed, meaning the Mavericks can waive him without cost and allow him to become a free agent.
i don't buy the joe johnson to atl stuff
Of Course you wouldn't, you want him to go to LAC.
He's getting the most money in ATL. He went to ATL because they offered him the most money back in 05. He's a money guy.
is gonna follow the $$$. if that means a max contract from atl, then what is he gonna do? say no to $30 million?
they're not going to offer him a max deal. i doubt it. 119 over 6 years at 29 for a second round birth...no way
i saw that coming he fits the triangle offense well, he can drain 3's and defend thats all they need
tyson chandler did not opt out to become a free agent. DOesnt surprise me one bit becasue he would have had to turn down 12.6 million next year and right now his stock has never been so low. He would have been lucky to get the mid level.