Sources: Joe Johnson to Atlanta 'Barring a Major Change'
The double-shocker was that the 29-year-old guard didn't immediately accept the deal.
But after some deliberation about whether it'd be better to play for New York or Chicago, two sources close to Johnson told FanHouse at 6 p.m. Pacific Saturday that he will make his final decision in the next day and that "barring a major change in the next 24 hours it's Atlanta."
The second source said he was simply "leaning" toward the Hawks, which could give forward Amar'e Stoudemire and the Knicks a sliver of hope to ramp up their own recruiting efforts.
New York has reportedly targeted San Antonio's Tony Parker as a perfect point guard pairing with Stoudemire, and any such deal -- while highly unlikely -- might be enough to entice Johnson to leave an extra year and an extra $27 million on the table. For younger players like LeBron James, that year is a matter of semantics, as -- barring career-ending injury or other unexpected obstacles -- they will likely be employed at that time and certainly be well paid for their services.
But Johnson -- who could get the money back via sign and trade if the Hawks complied -- would be 35 when he was on the market again and would almost certainly be looking at a substantial pay cut. Meanwhile, the Knicks have reportedly turned their attention to Mike Miller as a substitute for Johnson.