Free Agent Watch: Joe Johnson and Larry Drew

The Atlanta Hawks have hired Larry Drew as their new head coach. Drew, in case you didn’t know, was Atlanta’s lead assistant for the last six years. But despite his connection with the team and its players, his promotion could have a profound effect on whether or not Joe Johnson is wearing a Hawks jersey next season.

According to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The Hawks want to move away from an isolation-heavy offensive approach that was influenced by Johnson’s playing style. … A person with knowledge of Johnson’s plans said he’s still open to returning. But the person said the new coach would have to sell Johnson on relying more on his teammates in the offense and ensure him that locker-room chemistry would improve.”

However, ESPN’s Marc Stein thinks the question might not be whether Johnson wants the Hawks, but whether the Hawks want Johnson: “Pessimism reigns leaguewide about the Hawks’ ability to hang onto their All-Star swingman this summer, but I’ve been repeatedly told that there are folks in the organization that matter who would not be crushed if Johnson moves on, taking the fresh-start vibe to another level.”

If Johnson does fly the Hawks’ coop, he’ll cross over onto the Bulls’ radar. He won’t be one of the Bulls top choices — which would probably be (in some order) LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh — but he’s likely a Plan D or Plan E guy.


41 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Joe Johnson and Larry Drew

    BULL4EVER June 14, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    So dwayne fade is totally hanging out with potential free-agent stars because he is totally jealous of the Bulls totally threatening to steal that King from Cleveland and he does not want a single high-profile free-agent leaving his team for the Windy City.Let these Bulls beat down those boys from South Beach next season in the regular season.And one other thing,Chicago won’t even get a chance to beat down Miami in the postseason because those Heat won’t even get a chance to bleed to death in the playoffs at the hands of these damn good old boys from Chicago.Chicago will totally adjust with or without the King and no one even sees Miami adjusting at all with or without a high-proflie free-agent star.GO BULLS.

    bullsfandom June 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Joe Johnson is more like a Plan F (as in Failure) kinda guy.

  3. Ryan June 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I mentioned in the past that Joe Johnson would be a great fit for the Bulls. People were down on him due to the Playoffs, but think about it. ATL was 3rd in the East while running “ISO-HEAVY” offense for this ALL-STAR guard.

    The guy has great length, can create his own shots, and plays good defense. His teammates were not great – Josh Smith is volatile, Bibby is old, Crawford is only good off of the bench (we know him), but Horford played well.

    If we don’t get one of the top FA’s, then who would be any better at the SG spot?

    Enigmatik June 14, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    take wade off the radar…he’s not leaving miami. miami has cap room and the luxury of having one of their guys on the market to influence other players to join their team.

    our top priority should be lebron james, followed by exploring the possibility of working out a sign and trade for chris bosh. if bosh can’t be had, then carlos boozer should get some consideration. joe johnson would be a good player to have in a complimentary role, but there is no need to waste max dollars on him.

    we better all brace for the chance that we come away empty handed in this free agent race…

  5. Ryan June 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    There should be no reason for the Bulls to come up empty handed. They have the best ‘core’ of most teams with Max money in a big city market. If a Star player wants to win, or if they want paid – Bulls can cover both options.

    Trm3 June 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    I kinda like how all the rumors have quieted down of recent, maybe it’s because of the Finals..but there was so much being said that I was waiting for LeBron to sign with the Bulls on June 1st and not July 1st, lol

    I’m sure in about a week they’ll be coming alive again 😉

    Ancel June 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    I think the Bulls should make Bosh thier #1 Priority. He fits more of what the Bulls need. Nevermind sign and trade cause that would hurt our depth. Sign the guy the max,Draft the best available SG and find then affordable veteran good shooting guard.

    Starters – Rose, FA, Deng, Bosh & Noah
    Bench – Hinrich, Johnson, Gibson, Asik, Rookie & FA’s.

    BoppinBob June 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    In case no one noticed, there is some great Bball going on right now. Thank god it is creating enough zing to displace the FA buzz in the news. Hopefully the draft will keep the excitement going so we will only have to listen to the FA hype for about a week before it really takes off. Maybe if we are lucky LeBron will sign quickly and the madness will end.

  9. Ryan June 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm #


    It’s a good series, but the Bulls aren’t there right now and the Boston vs. Lakers rivalry is burned out. The regurgitated stories of sick children has reached its’ limit. Fisher’s daughter’s story has been on repeat for 3 years, and now Ray Allen’s son is back in the news. Free agency is much more interesting than some negative story on the players personal lives.

  10. chad June 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    All we need to win the championship next year is Tyrus Thomas. Just kidding, all we need is Lebron James. But we must remember the plantar fagitis the whole team had last year, and Noah must avoid it. How about 1 guy who hits open 3’s, theres gotta be a cheap version of Ben Gordon out there.

    Max June 15, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    I still hope we get Lebron. If he stays in Cleveland then I guess oh well. The Bulls still need to add pieces. I would take Joe Johnson but not at a Max Contract. If worse came to worse and we ended up with Joe Johnson and Amare then I guess that will have to work. I think Hinrich will be traded to the Lakers at the draft. Especially if they lose this series.

    BBgenie June 15, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    Joe Johnson is a #2 option on any team. he would fit best with Wade in Miami. Wade @(1) J.Johnson @(2) could become Best backcourt in the NBA. Then if some how Wade could convince Amar’e to take less cash to join the Heat you have a Contender with the Big Three. Johnson would not get a Max deal either.

    BoppinBob June 15, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    LeBron stays put, Wade stays put, Amare stays put, Bosh goes to Miami, Johnson goes to the Nets or Knicks. Who cares what Boozer does he is diffinately not worth a max contract, that would be another Ben Wallace situation. Again, in my opinion, the only available players worth max contracts are LeBron and Wade. If the Bulls sign anyone else to a max contract Pax and Gar should be lynched. That does not mean there are no FAs out there that would not help the Bulls. It will be interesting to see what happens. In the Meantime, I will drink some Bulls coolade and hope by some miracle the Bulls get LeBron.

    Dj June 15, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    Hey Max,

    So you are finally seeing my point of view “IF” Lebron James does not leave Cleveland. So much for saying most of the times that “Lebron James will leave Cleveland and come to Chicago for sure”. (and I am the 2 face guy lol)

    So you rather take (old) Joe Johnson over Rudy Gay? and a unhealthy player like Amare over David Lee or Chris Bosh if Lebron James does not sign with the Bulls? And I thought my ideas were bad. lol (WOW, you really disappoint me with your ideas Max.)

    Joe Nunyabiz June 15, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Good ideas that I haven’t heard in a while without the trash talking. But the last comment by Dj really sparked some thought in me. I don’t think will get any of the top free agents. And the second tier are not worth Max money. But realistically I think Bosh might be available and yes I would give him max money. Now if that doesn’t work then I would hone in on Joe Johnson and even better Rudy Gay (he is younger) to add to the bulls nucleus. I really thought Gay came into his own last year. As for power forward I would hone in on David Lee. But here is the catch I would not give any of these second tier guys max money. The Bulls have a real nice young core and these second tier guys if they are thinking about a “Championship” might just go for it. But that is the real question. As for the draft pick maybe they may have to package it away with a team to work out the second guy on the team but if they keep it I think it should be a shooting guard. In the mean time I am really curious about “James Johnson and Joe Alexander”. Will they improve enough to stay on the team or will they be trade bait. I would hate to see any of these guys be studs somewhere else, but I said the same thing about Tyrus Thomas to my disappointment.

    Max June 15, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    DJ your an idiot. I have never once said he was coming here for sure. I have only said I want him to come. Show me where I have said that… can’t. Talk all the shit you want and yes Amare is way better than David Lee. Bosh will end up in Miami.

    Max June 15, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Also the Grizzles have said they will match any contract for Gay. So he is not going anywhere. Besides his lame ass can’t play defense or pass the ball.

    BULL4EVER June 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Chicago’s main focus is on stealing James,Bosh,or Boozer,while every other FA is totally irrelevent to Chicago and like Chicago even gives the slightest cahoot about idiotic free-agents like david lee or joe johnson whom are totally unheard of in the Windy City because this has always been Jordan and Pippen’s team and this has always been a title-winning tradition,this is not the knicks or the nets.Another thing the Bulls are after stars like LeBron, Bosh or even Boozer,they are not at all after idiotic free-agents like joe johnson or david lee.We Bulls fans are totally better off seeing the King stay in Cleveland instead of signing any of these 2 players.GO BULLS.

    Carl June 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Though the Bulls aren’t my favorite team (at all, was a BIG Stockton-fan) I see them going far if they have a chance to add Bosh and Ray Allen. It could well happen too!

  20. reggie June 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Great point made about there is a chance the bulls may not get anyone, that is something we have to put out there but the chances of them getting no one is slim the only question is who who who as Noah said they are gonna pay alot of money too, time for them to get there A,B and C plan and maybe D plan ready cause i think if LBJ does not come next target should be CB4 after that it gets murky I hope they do not have to go any futher than that, if so then they may want to put this years first rd and next yrs 2 first rd picks n a deal to get a great player to help the team for all those picks good will not cut it may be giving away a great player or two if not all three .Wade best not be on the bulls plans at all LBJ he will come if he wants to win here, Bosh is just wanting out of toronto and to be the man on the team not gonna happen here but he could still share spotlight with Rose, last but least I am not against getting 2nd teir players just not giving them max money in this case to settle and pay all that money in my book is a big waste and will only hurt the team in the future far as cap is concerned and contract will be too big for a trade in future unless he is a superstar which probally wont happen in2n tier players. Lets hope Pax does the right thing Last chance for you Pax get it done or get out of the bulls buiss . Peace

  21. TexasBearsFan June 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    I think we actually had Joe Johnson on our team a year or two ago. Except then, his name was Ben Gordon. He could fill up the basket (sometimes) but he never played defense or distributed the ball.

    Why would we grab someone like Johnson, who’s basically going to be an expensive Ben Gordon, i.e. someone who just throws the ball at the hoop all night?

    C-Lo_The_Great June 16, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    woah woah now boozer over joe johnsen? i dont think so boozer should be the very last option granted joe johnsen had a really bad playoff but thats what happens when your an all star and not a super star if johnsen comes to bulls i can see his career lasting longer because there really wont be a need for him to drive into the paint as much and no more iso-joe

    Trm3 June 16, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    Uhhh no..Joe Johnson isn’t that good. When a guy pops off before the start of the playoffs saying what he’s going to “I’m gonna prove to everyone I can put a team on my back and lead us through the playoffs” – Joe Johnson. He showed us huh?? That 29% shooting shook up the world. Joe Johnson is overrated. I also don’t like how he takes and hour n a half to make a move..we already had a guy like that, his name was John Salmons.

    No go Joe.

    Dj June 16, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    I agree again, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer suck, they are getting old and they do not deserve a max contract period!

    Hey Max, to answer your comments:
    1st: “I have never once said he was coming here for sure. I have only said I want him to come.” (your comment)

    You are right on this comment but, it is just the way you say it all the times, if Lebron James leaves Cleveland his number 1 choice is Chicago, no other city (How do you know that?) He has multiple options to choose from!

    2nd: “Talk all the shit you want and yes Amare is way better than David Lee. Bosh will end up in Miami.” (your comment)

    Once again, how do you know that? Last time I check Amare was going to Miami and not only that Amare is a unhealthy player that suffer a lot of injuries over the years! Remember, injuries will catch up to him just like A.I and Shaq. I rather take Chris Bosh (soft ass) and give him his max money then a person that mate miss half of the regular season. (And Amare is also a soft dude like Bosh! didn’t you watch the playoffs against the Lakers? lol) As for David Lee he will come out more cheaper then Amare, Bosh or Boozer and he is a work horse energy guy like Noah that is why I like him.

    3rd: “Also the Grizzles have said they will match any contract for Gay. So he is not going anywhere. Besides his lame ass can’t play defense or pass the ball.” (your comment)

    That does not matter if the Grizzles match any offers for Gay. Who knows, maybe they have a limit of how far they will go, since they have: Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol as their core guys. Plus I never said we should try to steal him away from the Grizzles with money. I said we should do a sign and trade deal involving Deng and maybe J.J for Rudy Gay. What are you talking about that Rudy Gay can’t play defense? didn’t you check out his stat numbers? he is averaging 1.5 steals per game and close to 1 block shot per game. To me that is a solid defender and he will only get better since he is still young unlike your boy Joe Johnson. Once again, who care if he does not past the ball a lot? He is not PG like D. Rose dumb ass, he is a scoring machine like: Ray Allen and Ben Gordan that is his job and he also brings lots of energy like Noah with his amazing dunks!

    Dj June 16, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    He is not a PG like D. Rose dumb ass,*

    Steve June 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    great point of view DJ

    Max June 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Now Joe Johnson is my Boy? I get it now, you live in a fantasy land where you hear special voices and that must be where you confuse all the things people say.

    Rudy Gay= Not gonna happen

    David Lee= solid but not special

    That is where all this shit talking started. You posted that was your dream off season and I called you out on it saying that would be the worst case scenario. All this other shit you have been talking is all on you. At the end of the day I am a Bulls fan. I hope we get GREAT players and if not then I hope we get a bunch of quality players, but like I said that is a worst case scenario. I would prefer titles over getting to the second round.

    Dj June 19, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    hahaha, NOW I am the guy that is living in a fantasy world? But aren’t we all Max??? especially you with Lebron JAMES SUCKING ON HIS NUTS to come here? Anyways, to reply back to your dumb ass comment, (sorry, I just can’t help myself with the crazy things you say.)

    1st: ” You posted that was your dream off season and I called you out on it saying that would be the worst case scenario.” (your comment)

    I never say anything about me wanting: Gay and Lee as our top priority this summer. I say if Lebron James does not leave Cleveland WHICH HE WON’T!!! The Bulls should go after RUDY GAY AND DAVID LEE right away! Like always, you love flipping my words around.

    2nd: “I hope we get GREAT players and if not then I hope we get a bunch of quality players, but like I said that is a worst case scenario. I would prefer titles over getting to the second round.” (your comment)

    You know what is funny about this comment? you never once say IF WE DON’T LAND Lebron James this summer we should focus on getting quality players until now. Your comments have always been: it’s either LEBRON JAMES or nothing this summer! LIke I said before and I am the guy that changes stories around? And why do you say it would be the worst case scenario if we don’t land Lebron James? What you do trust D.Rose, J. Noah and rest of our future roster stepping up their games next season to get us to the finals? Some fan you are???

    I am a die heart Bulls fan and I have a lot of faith with the Bulls organization to make the right choices of getting us players that FIX WELL WITH D. ROSE AND J. NOAH. And who knows, maybe Lebron James is not the right guys for us, since we already have a top star in: D.ROSE!!!

    Me personally, I think we should go after the best players that is out their this summer which is: Lebron, Wade or Bosh. But if these guys do not want to come here, it is not the end of the world. (We just learn how to move on!) That is why I think we will be just fine with adding semi star player like: Rudy Gay a scoring machine like Ray Allen or Joe Johnson but younger, David Lee a guy with the same energy attitude like J. NOah and adding quality players to fill in the rest of our roster.

    GO BULLS!!!

    Max June 20, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    As for my ideas to improve this team, I think we should totally trade L. Deng (while his value is high right now) for Rudy Gay in a sign and trade deal. That way D. Rose can have another explosive high dunker scorer that can put up big numbers, hit 3’s at a higher percentage, hit big shots in late games and he can also defend as well as Deng. Good idea right?

    By making these moves this is how our new 13 man roster would look like for 2010-2011:
    PG: D. Rose
    SG: K. Hinrich
    SF: R. Gay (hopefully)
    PF: D. Lee (hopefully)
    C: J. Noah
    PF: Taj Gibson
    SF: J. Johnson
    SG: Morrow or Azubuike or Korver (hopefully)
    C: B. Miller (hopefully if he resign to a 1 year contract)
    PF-C: Omer Asik (bring him back and resign him)
    G: Acie Law (if he resign to a 1 year deal)
    C: (Bulls 1st round draft pick)
    F: (Bulls 2nd round draft pick)
    Maybe guys:
    SF: Joe Alexander (to a 1 year deal)
    PF-C: Chris Richard (to a 1 year deal)

    Killer roster right?

    Comment by DJ — May 12, 2010 @ 5:07 am

    There you go DJ!! I don’t need to flip your words. Your just to stupid to remember the shit you say. That is how all this bullshit started. End of discussion……….

    Dj June 20, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    Wait wait wait MAx, you still have not shown me Jack! all you have done is repeated my message that I said already earlier.

    I never say anything about me wanting: Gay and Lee as our top priority this summer. I say if Lebron James does not leave Cleveland WHICH HE WON’T!!! The Bulls should go after RUDY GAY AND DAVID LEE right away! Like always, you love flipping my words around. (my comment)

    And were is all my comments when I told you a along time ago “if Lebron James does not leave Cleveland” we should make a move on Rudy Gay and David Lee as our top plan B guys? You see MAx, you only like putting comments that suit you best, so you can try to make a come back at me, which at the end they really don’t help you out. Now this discussion has ended since you still can’t shut me up with your no come backs. (Nice try)

    Max June 20, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    That was your plan A. But I’m done talking to you. Your just a dumb ass kid that refuses to admit your wrong and now your a Liar. Oh well!!

    Dj June 21, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    Like I said before were is my comment were I said that was my top plan B if Lebron James does not leave Cleveland. (which he won’t) Like I said before you can’t show me that part because you know it is true. I am also done with you lil man grow-up. And please stop changing my words around, it is getting old like you.

    Max June 21, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    You and I both know you have said you hope the Bulls don’t even go after him. I have shown you up on this before. I don’t care to do it again. You talk all this shit on here and you never will stop. Oh well. The only person that thinks your tough is you. Like I said oh well. I’m not gonna fight over the internet anymore but as far as your lil man comments. You keep on thinking that. It doesn’t bother me a bit.

  34. Ryan June 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    @ DJ and Max

    Are you guys for real? I think both names are the same person arguing with herself.

    Dj June 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Ok Max, if that is what you want to hear, I don’t want Lebron James. You r right, I think he sucks blah blah blah blah blah lol. Happy? is that what it takes to make you shut up lil man? Notice that I said lil man now lol (don’t forget to save my comment so you can remember this blog lol)

    Dj June 23, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    By the Max I was being sarcastic you dumb ass!

    Max June 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Ryan I am actually down on myself for sinking to this guys level but he has talked some major shit to me on other threads. I keep finding myself compelled to respond to him. I will quit now because I know most Bulls fans don’t want to hear this shit.

    Dj June 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    Don’t worry Ryan and every other Bulls fan out their, I will also try my best not to sink in to this guys level anymore. If anything, Max was the one who started talking all this mad shit to me 1st, about me being a f**king retard and that my opinions do not count. If you were in my shoes, would you take all that trash talking from him? (No right) I think as a Bulls fan, I have the right to post what-ever I want that I think mate help improve this Bulls team. I can’t also help myself sometimes with the dumb things he say by replying back, But from now on I will stop talking trash to him and just ignore him from now on.

  39. Ryan June 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Or you guys can just get the gloves out? Maybe a game of 1 on 1?

    Joe Nunyabiz June 26, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Well draft day is over. And yes the Bulls packed the 17 pick elsewhere so they can make room for another free agent at a max rate. I still hope they don’t give this money to a 2nd tier guy though. My comments earlier #15 still stand and I do think the Bulls are in a better position.
    I still am so curious about the development of Joe Alexander and James Johnson. But when I heard that Deng was being shopped it made me wonder if one of these guys has stepped it up. They both play Deng’s position but the key is to get someone to take Deng’s contract. Deng is a professional and did well coming off of injuries. Two years after his injuries is where we really see what Deng is up. I mean has he reached his ceiling or can he go higher? This year is make or break for him and if he doesn’t improve the Bulls might be shopping him again for next years free agent group. Deng its your time to shine, no pressure you know but your sure getting a hell of a lot of money. Peace.

  41. Anonymous June 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    I think the mavs would me a good fit for johnson cause the mavs need a true sg

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