In his latest blog, Sam Smith throws out Joe Johnson as his number one target this off-season.
If I were the Bulls, I'd step up aggressively and offer him the maximum
deal. I might not do the sign-and-trade, but allow a clause for a year
extension or work out an insurance deal for a sixth year. From
everything I've heard, the Bulls would have to mess it up to lose
Well neither of us are likely to ever work for an NBA front office, but if he really thinks this, my odds have to be better right?
Joe Johnson on a max contract? You want to pay Joe Johnson 18 million a year for the next five seasons? Let's also be clear, whatever he's talking about with some kind of quazi-option insurance deal for a sixth year (whatever that was) isn't legal in the CBA and isn't going to happen unless there is a sign in trade.
Let's be clear, this isn't setting for Joe Johnson either. He specifically says he'd pursue Johnson over LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as a first option (largely because he believes he'll be successful whereas he won't with the other guys).
Joe Johnson who:
- Is one of the league leaders in isolation plays every year. Yes, we ran Ben Gordon out of town for hogging the ball, but we want to bring in the guy who runs about twice as many isos a season?
- Can't defend or rebound. Let's forget the fact that Johnson is tall and focus on the fact that with his extra height he still barely outrebounds Ben Gordon, and he doesn't really out defend him either. Johnson's tall but slow, and he can't adequately defend the shooting guard position and should probably be moved to small forward.
- Is older and has a ton of miles on him already and likely to slow down very noticeably over the next few seasons.
- Hasn't been able to lead his team anywhere past the second round despite having a fairly talented roster to work with. He's also basically flamed out in the playoffs every single year he's made them sporting a career 13.7 PER in the playoffs with a 15.8, 12.5, and 14.5 with Atlanta the past three seasons.
- Hasn't ever been a dominant player in the NBA. At his peak, there's no time anyone would ever consider Johnson a top 10 player and probably not a top 15 player either.
The Bulls should not want Joe Johnson at the maximum salary. Not unless they are willing to go very deep into the luxury tax, because Joe Johnson's probably only worth around 12 million a season.
They are better off not spending any money, staying far under the cap and using their financial leverage to make unbalanced trades than pursuing Joe Johnson. It's a losing proposition. He's too expensive, not good enough, not a good fit, and aging fast. Let's let Johnson go to the Knicks for the maximum salary and watch them flounder for the next five years instead.