Free Agent Watch: Joe Johnson may want to stay in Atlanta

I can only speculate about what the Bulls’ free agent plans are this summer. There’s a pretty good chance that Plans A and B will focus on players like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but there are almost certainly Plans C, D, E, etc.

I’m guessing Joe Johnson is among those later letters.

However, Johnson may not want to fly his Atlanta coop. As Alan Hahn of Newsday said: “More people in the NBA believe there is a greater chance that Joe Johnson stays in Atlanta than LeBron James stays in Cleveland.”

Johnson is a good target. As ESPN’s Marc Stein pointed out: “[The Bulls] should now be able to afford a max-level player such as Chris Bosh or Joe Johnson without being forced to trade away a veteran such as Kirk Hinrich or Luol Deng or rookie James Johnson.”

That won’t matter much if Johnson chooses to stay with the Hawks. Of course, there’s no telling what is going to happen this summer.

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19 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Joe Johnson may want to stay in Atlanta

  1. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. April 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    On a related/completely unrelated note:

    Way to go Bucks in evening that series, …and without your starting center. Kudos to Mr. Salmons and Coach Skiles. Wish you were still in the beloved Red & Black!

  2. Anonymous April 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Honestly I would prefer to trade “one of our veterans” like Hinrich or Deng or even our much prized “rookie James Johnson.” Mark Stein at ESPN doesn’t know jack, so he should stop writing like he actually knows what the Bulls need. Chicago fans always give Hinrich so much love, but let’s be honest here, he is a point guard and we already have Derrick Rose. We’ve tried to play him at the two but he is just terribly inconsistent and he shoots nears 40% and he’s undersized. Enough with the Hinrich love affair, trade him if possible this off season he’s just not that valuable to us anymore. As for Deng, he had a pretty good season, but it’s not like he’s untradeable either, he doesn’t something special to our team that can’t be replaced. Neither of these guys are real veteran leaders either on the court or from what I gather in the locker room. Hinrich is one the most nervous interviewers I’ve ever seen, and Deng just seems too serious. As for James Johnson, he’s not gonna be anything in this league, I estimate in fact that he’ll be out of the league within 5 years or that he might be the next Joe Alexander. And don’t give me that crap that he’s just a rookie and he’s still learning. Most rookies show some flashes of talent and don’t consistently look like they’re playing soccer rather than basketball. If other teams want one of these guys and makes a good offer, please take it by all means! Maybe that way we can land both Bosh and Johnson!

  3. jake_vick@hotmail.com'
    Jake in Minnie April 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    If it was me, I would go in this order, 1. Lebron, 2. Bosh, 3. Boozer, 4. Wade, 5. Joe Johnson 6. at this point, if we don’t land one of the bigs, I think the whole plan can only be considered disappointing.

    Now, Lebron, Wade and Joe Johnson are probably staying, SO, the focus should probably be Bosh (a max contract) or Boozer (a near max-contract) and then use the extra space for a 3-point shooter to help spread the floor when we need it.

    Just what I would do, most people would have Wade over Boozer, but I just think we need that low-post threat more..

  4. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale April 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    “Way to go Bucks in evening that series, …and without your starting center. Kudos to Mr. Salmons and Coach Skiles. Wish you were still in the beloved Red & Black!”

    Agreed, at least about Skiles. I really, really liked him as a coach and blame the players and management for his falling out. It was a prime example of letting the inmates run the asylum.

    “Honestly I would prefer to trade ‘one of our veterans’ like Hinrich or Deng or even our much prized ‘rookie James Johnson.'”

    Admittedly, I would be more than fine with flipping Hinrich/Johnson or Deng for, say, a Joe Johnson, or any of the other big free agents. I would just want to make sure we were getting value back.

    “If it was me, I would go in this order, 1. Lebron, 2. Bosh, 3. Boozer, 4. Wade, 5. Joe Johnson 6. at this point, if we don’t land one of the bigs, I think the whole plan can only be considered disappointing.”

    It’s absolutely critical that the Bulls land one of those guys, or, you’re right, the plan will be a failure.

  5. steverba April 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    This report stinks of hearsay!

    You guys don’t think giving David Lee 12mil a year would be nearly equally as good as getting a max type player? Then we could spend some $$ on getting a decent 2 guard and not have to gut our roster.

  6. powers88@vt.edu'
    Bobby April 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Hey Matt I asked on the other blog about the last game but I didn’t know if you were just focusing on this one. Do you have any idea with the new increased cap space how much the Bulls will have left over if they sign a max contract? Is Joe Johnson gonna get a max contract? What’s the best you think we can do as far as a 3 point shooter with the leftover money?

  7. Trm378@gmail.com'
    Trm3 April 27, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    Ok, LeBron is not going anywhere so get that thought out. Joe Johnson I thought for a minute he would definitely stay in Atlanta cause they’re a good team but then I thought how Joe left Phoenix when they were a good team as well. But back to LeBron, I don’t want..I’m a not fan of someone who always staring down people, taunting and showboating when he’s winning but when he loses he’ll just walk off the court and not shake hands like a sore loser..F’ that F’ face! Send the goons out on him tonight..Chris Richards ur in, lol

  8. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    Dj April 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    Honestly I think both of u guys are crazy: Anonymous & Jake in Minnie. Anonymous u said u would trade Hinrich or Deng & James Johnson in a heart beat for a top super star player like: Chris Bosh or Joe Johnson? are u crazy? their is no way Toronto or Atlanta would take that deal unless the Bulls also offer Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah with their 1st round draft pick involved.

    And Jake in Minnie remember: Lebron James, Chris Bosh D. Wade, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Yao Ming & Kobe r the top Super Star players that everybody wants, that is y most teams that have these players will ask 4 a sign and trade deal, involving the other teams quality players, with their high draft picks. N the only reason y I didn’t mention Carlos Boozer name is b-cuz of his age and his history injuries he has had over the years missing a lot of games during the season.

    So I ask u this Jake in Minnie, would u give Carlos Boozer that 5 year contract or “Joe Johnson because of his age” close to 15-18 million dollars if u were the Bulls GM? (I know I wouldn’t sign them in a heart beat! b-cuz of their age and injuries they had in the past especially Boozer.)

    That is why I came up with this better idea: The Bulls should focuses on getting semi-star players like: David Lee, Rudy Gay, Anthony Morrow, Kelnna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph and other players like that before other teams take them away from Bulls. Then the Bulls are set with a stronger lineup next season until a better opportunity comes up before the deadline of the 2010-2011 season.

  9. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath April 28, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    I am still a big James Johnson fan. He is hyper with all his tools, in my opinion. I thought that Paul Pierce was a good analogy for his game, but the truth is that Johnson has a higher ceiling, interest and spark on the defensive end. The truth is Shawn Kemp might be a better comparison for where his game can go. When he gets to spend time and take his tape into the off-season, I really believe we will see the benefit next year. I don’t want to make a big deal about his black-belt, but it does allude to someone who may understand the steps, the levels that are involved in excelling in a particular area – that is doesn’t happen all at once. Honestly, it looked like he was trying to take too big a bite of the cookie at times this year. I attribute some of that to VDN, who didn’t seem to be sure of when to give him minutes early in the year. I give the kid a break, as the stakes became so high when he finally got some time, that it was understandable (and a good sign) he tried to step up and deliver. And, I want him on my team for the same reason I enjoyed having Tyrus on the team … he has a youthful spark and is capable of serious, power highlights.

  10. bobbysimmons April 28, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    congrats bulls, I’m proud that we fought it out, in the end we just didn’t have enough talent, looking ahead to a very bright future

  11. powers88@vt.edu'
    Bobby April 28, 2010 at 3:19 am #

    Hahahahaha Trm3 that’s good. I like like that. I knew we signed Richards for the rest of the year for something. I can’t say I would be able to contain my excitement if Richards saw Lebron driving and low bridged his showboating a** right into the cameramen’s row. Hit your head on a lens while you’re down there F’face!

  12. TexasBullsFan April 28, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    “Neither of these guys are real veteran leaders either on the court or from what I gather in the locker room. Hinrich is one the most nervous interviewers I’ve ever seen, and Deng just seems too serious.”

    Oh really? And how much *do* you gather down in the locker room? Oh wait, I forgot, you aren’t *IN* the locker room, so you don’t know jack about what happens there.

    Heinrich is nervous while being interviewed? Deng is too serious in interviews? Where do you come up with this tripe? This is utter trash. If you want to bring up some stats, fine, but don’t argue for trading players based on their interview skills. Pathetic.

  13. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    Dj April 28, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    Ok people, looking at game Game 5 the Bulls definitely need to sign a PF that can score inside shooting a high percentage and they also need another tall SG that can hit 3 point shots to space the floor during their off season with their 23 million dollars cap space.

    So if I am Paxson right now, my top priority is to sign a PF big guy. So here is my top 5 list of players that I would go after:

    1st: Chris Bosh
    2nd: David Lee
    3rd: Amare Stoudemire
    4th: Carl Landry
    5th: Carlos Boozer.

    My second priority would be to sign a taller SG that can hit 3’s and play solid defense. Here is my top 5 SG’s that I would go after:

    1st:Rudy Gay
    2nd:Anthony Morrow
    3rd:Kelenna Azubuike
    4th: Rasual Butler
    5th:Kyle Korver.

    If can I sign any of these players then I am a happy guy, if not then we have big problems next season of making the playoffs with pleasing my star players like: D. Rose & J. Noah.

  14. powers88@vt.edu'
    Bobby April 28, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Despite that being one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen, the Bulls stuck with it. Gotta be proud to be a Bulls fan after that effort.

  15. Trm378@gmail.com'
    Trm3 April 28, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    “Despite that being one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen, the Bulls stuck with it. Gotta be proud to be a Bulls fan after that effort.”

    Comment by Bobby — April 28, 2010 @ 7:15 am

    ——-

    Exactly, that game was terribly officiated. I can’t believe how many times Rose goes into the lane gets hit and nothing. Then Bron Bron goes up gets looked at and gets a foul call..what happen to continuation too? And 1 Mr. Rose..sorry ur NOT Lebron, ur not getting that. Top it all off the Miller and Noah segment of fouls were jokes.

    Good luck in the Finals Cleveland the Refs will get u there.

    As for our Bulls, I was pleased with how we went out. I liked the effort despite getting nothing, we fought and hung in. Now it’s up to our FO to get something done.

    Wishlist priority: Wade then Bosh..if Wade wants to be stupid and stay with that “BEAST” Beasley, ha ha.. 45 yr old O’Neal and 52 yr old Haslem..then get me Bosh and Rudy Gay or Ray Allen (He’ll knock down those open three’s Rose creates)..Oh and get rid of Pargo (This should actually be number one)

  16. bobbysimmons April 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    TBF stop trying to be smart, while putting emphasis on *do* and *in*

    Hinrich should be traded, he has no place on this team anymore. JJ blows too.

  17. powers88@vt.edu'
    Bobby April 29, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    I think we need to hold off on the JJ blows talk. Sure he hasn’t some in and been a consistently great talent but he has had his moments. I say we give him a chance at watching film and working on his game in the offseason because he seems like a guy that will put that work in. Not every rookie is going to become a superstar like Rose or a waste of talent like Tyrus. There is acceptable room between the two and I think JJ can be a real player in the league. In my opinion, the last game before the playoffs when the Cavs and Bulls met and Lebron actually played (I think their 3rd meeting of the season), JJ guarded Lebron and vice versa and I thought Johnson won the battle overall until the fourth quarter. JJ never got a chance of consistent playing time like Taj did so he didn’t get a very good chance to develop but he did show flashes of brilliance. You gotta give a rookie credit for stepping up and guarding a guy like Lebron with confidence.

  18. mmonarchs@yahoo.com'
    Gregor Mendel May 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    OK sports fans…Here is the scenario that no one looked at…I believe the Bulls can make the following moves (realistically) and be an instant contender. By the way, I like the Rudy Gay line of thought. I do not believe the Bulls as the forerunner of any of the heavies (Wade, James, Johnson,Bosh), so why waste time, do the following: 1. Make David Lee prime target as an Unrestricted Free Agent (pay him less than max),Trade Kirk, Deng, and 2010 top pick to Denver for Carmelo (2011 Free Agent), and Aaron Afflalo (this is so the money will work), look to see if Leandro Barbosa can be had for Bulls 2nd Round pick and some cash which was saved on the Lee deal, as Barbosa is losing minutes in Phoenix. Now your starting 5 becomes Rose, Barbosa, Anthony, Lee, Noah, with Taj Gibson, Brad Miller (sign for cheap), and Afflalo who could help with PG duties…This would require the Bulls to sign some people on the back end to fill out the roster. The other scenario is similar but replace Carmelo with Rudy Gay…Then we do not offer the picks, just Deng and Hinrich and some sort of kicker. Still sign Lee, and still look to retrieve Barbosa..

    GM

  19. mwheelerga@gmail.com'
    Matt June 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    I live in Atlanta and I am a huge Joe Johnson Fan he isn’t leaving and if he does Were getting D wade Bulls your getting Lebron face it.

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