Atlanta Hawks Re-sign Joe Johnson to Ridiculous Contract
Yahoo Sports first reported the news: "The Atlanta Hawks offered Joe Johnson a six-year, $119 million contract Thursday morning, and sources close to the All-Star guard expect him to accept the max deal soon."
And incredulous sports columnists piled on. Basically, the Hawks have announced that they have no higher expectations than achieving what they did last year, getting swept in the second round of the playoffs behind Johnson's miserable 11.8 points-per-game effort.
And in none of those playoff games against the Orlando Magic was Johnson even the Hawks' leading scorer (and no, it's not because Johnson is a notable passer, rebounder or defensive presence.) It would be one thing if Johnson were a young talent who was likely to improve. But he's 29!
Earlier there was talk that Johnson might team up with LeBron James in New York or Chicago. But Johnson will reportedly accept Atlanta's offer. He won't win a championship, but he'll be paid $20 million a year until he's 35. On his part, it's a very understandable decision.
The other early free-agency news has revealed no Atlanta-like blunders. The Lakers, who may be losing a lot of their second unit, reportedly have offered Washington Wizards forward Mike Miller a $30 million, five-year deal. That might seem a little high for what is essentially Ron Artest's backup, but it would be a pay cut for Miller, and the Lakers could use a dead-eye wing shooter to score when defenses focus on Kobe Bryant and their formidable interior of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
But expect more Atlanta-caliber boneheaded moves in the future. After all, the Knicks have yet to make their move.