Blog Entry

Everyone wants Joe Johnson all of a sudden

Posted on: June 28, 2010 3:05 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2010 6:02 pm
Look, I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'.

You're going to be hard pressed to find a bigger Joe Johnson advocate in ye old Blogosphere than the author of this post right here. An Arkansas native (Johnson grew up in Little Rock, went to school at U of A), and someone that dug the SSOL-era Suns (who didn't outside of San Antonio), I have followed the explosive wing's career in Atlanta with great interest. That little crossover business with Boston? That's some pretty stuff, right there.

But is he worth all the attention he's suddenly receiving?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Mavs intend to pursue a sign-and-trade to acquire the services of the soon-to-be 29 year-old shooting guard. This coming on the heels of reports that he's on the fast train to New York, and of course, that Chicago is on the target list as well.

The Mavericks have been banking on a sign-and-trade option for free agency for a long time (and Mark Cuban's already invested money to that effect in the form of a fine for talking about it ). They have a talented roster and are willing to absorb more salary, as they've consistently been at the top of the luxury tax for nearly the past decade. A combination of Caron Butler and pieces might be enough to entice the Hawks into going for the deal. For Johnson, it would mean getting the extra year's worth of money that comes with signing with his former club, plus not having to be "the man" for the team, playing in tandem with Dirk Nowitzki. It would also move him closer to his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas.

But is Johnson worth the kind of money that would be coming to him in a max-contract sign and trade? There's been a lot of speculation about Johnson being willing to take less than a max deal, but those rumors were tied with him being headed to New York. Regardless, his deal will still be an albatross, and will remain so throughout the length of his contract. By the time it ends, Johnson could be a 35 year old shooting guard with faded elevation. His jump shot isn't pure like Ray Allen, and there's been a noticeable plateau in his efficiency as he approaches the apex of his career.

With that being said, there's something to be said in that article linked above from Hawks blog Hoopinion on how his game could adjust in the right circumstances:

"...he could become more efficient in a lower-usage role but likely at the cost of some the volume of points he's scored and assists he's earned over the last five seasons."

That's precisely the type of role he'd fit in with the Mavs. Jason Kidd as the creator, Dirk Nowitzki (assuming the highly probable re-signing) as the lynch pin, and Johnson as the perimeter finisher. It would put the Mavs offense immediately in the top of the league offensively... hypothetically. Then again, the deal for Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood was supposed to put them in similar context, and instead resulted in a swift first round ejection.

There's one thing we can tell from this report. Mark Cuban, yet again, will not be sitting around twiddling his thumbs during the most important offseason in NBA history.

-Matt Moore


Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2010 5:53 pm

Everyone wants Joe Johnson all of a sudden

I would like to think that Atlanta has little interest in a Caron Butler for Joe Johnson deal. Dallas would definitely come out the winner in that event. What would the Hawks be enticed by? The perenial underacheiver Brendan Haywood? Haywood is actually a solid piece, but not at the expense of your best player. Butler is even older than Johnson, and position-wise he couldn't take his place because he's a small forward instead of a shooting guard. The Hawks would ideally like to move Smith to SF and Horford to PF while plugging in a full-time center. How in the world does Butler help them do that?

For the record Johnson has served as Atlanta's "closer" during close games the last couple of years. It wasn't uncommon for him to put up 10-15 points in the 4th quarter of close games, especially at home. His knack for making clutch plays is a big reason why Atlanta is 65-17 at Phillips Arena these past two seasons. And the designation of "jump shooter" is not entirely accurate... Johnson can get to the basket like any other 2 guard in the league. What he lacks in 'Ray Allen-pure' shooting he makes up for in his ability to take the defender off the dribble. That's not the kind of player you should swap for Caron Butler. If the Hawks do it is for the sole purpose of getting something in return for Johnson vs. not getting anything at all.

And even then the Hawks could look for different trade partners offering more attractive options... maybe New Orleans or the Clippers.

Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2010 5:16 pm

Everyone wants Joe Johnson all of a sudden

Houston not a pure shooter?  What basketabll do you watch?  Houston had one of the sweetest strokes of our era.  What he didn't have is Heart or the killer instinct that ray allen has.  JJ is a completely different player than Allen Houston was, nevertheless I agree that he should not get a max contract. In fact LEBRON and WADE, DIRK, and AMARE are the only max guys out there.

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2010 4:54 pm

Everyone wants Joe Johnson all of a sudden

To me there are only 3 guys in this class worth max money, relatively speaking of course.  They are the 3 headliners and we all know who they are.  Aside from that though, each year some team seems to offer a contact to a guy that leaves us scratching our heads.  Now, a team like New York or New Jersey or Chicago may get desperate and overpay a guy like Joe Johnson or Carlos Boozer if they are not able to land one of the Big 3 free agents so I guess the question this off season will be whom, among the 2nd tier guys gets overpaid and which team leaves us scratching our heads.  We will soon find out!

Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2010 4:30 pm

Everyone wants Joe Johnson all of a sudden

Yes, I would be very leary of signing Joe Johnson to a max deal............he is identical to Allan Houston when he played with the Knicks. A 20 ppg game scorer who signed a max deal and was junk later in his career. Houston lacked the elevation and was not as pure a shooter as Ray Allen like you mentioned.

Houston and Johnson are obviously good players and have had a ton of success. I wouldn not want a 17 million a year jump shooter who has 3 peek years left, leaving a contract with 3 sub-prime years. Then he becomes untradable like Allan was.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or