Hello everyone at BleacherReport!
It’s my first article here and I hope everyone finds this an enjoyable and informative read!
What do we do with Joe Johnson!
Okay, first I know Rick Sund and the management are going to do their best to keep Joe Johnson a Hawk. Also, in my opinion, Johnson seems the kind of guy who wants max money and max years.
The only place he is going to get the most money and most number of years is with us at ATL. That is why I see a sign-and-trade being the most viable option for JJ and the Hawks to pursue, unless we actually want Johnson for another six years until he is in his mid-thirties and see his production decline like Mike Bibby.
Therefore, my stand is, we HAVE TO SIGN AND TRADE JJ.
There has been another post here on the site about why Joe Johnson is no superstar and why he is expendable to the Hawks. I agree, JJ seems to find the need to fade away on every shot! Not that I’m hating on Joe. He single handedly won us all those games in the Celtic series three years back, but he plays too much 1 on 5, he doesn’t get superstar numbers and is not exactly the face of our Hawks franchise.
The last time I checked, we barely manage to fill up half the Highlight Factory unless the Lakers, Celtics or Cavs come to town. We need someone to lead our team and someone who can put butts on the seats! That being said, I don’t see Joe as a Hawk next year and this is what I think the best situation for our Hawks to try to achieve in order for us to be even relevant in the Eastern Conference title race next season.
Joe Johnson to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas
This might seem a bit far fetched but still, here goes…
This move nearly HAS to involve another player and/or draft picks, but lets just look at the value of these two stars and how them switching jerseys could benefit our Hawks.
First, I definitely believe Agent Zero will put fans in their seats. Also I truly believe (and hope) Gil has learned from his mistakes, and from what I’ve read/heard in interviews, he really wants to redeem himself and I think he really needs to start fresh on an entirely new team and organization.
Why would the Wizards trade him?
Why not get the shorter answer and ask why the Wizards would not trade him. He is on a crazy contract. Arenas is earning $111 million in this current contract and it runs for four and a half more years. If you are earning that kind of money, you have to be actually on the court playing. Gilbert has had an injury-wrecked stint with the Wizards and he has only played 47 games out of a possible 246 in this past three seasons due to injuries, surgery, rehabilitation and various legal issues.
He also hasn’t been the best role model on that team. (Gun incident) The burden of that incident will forever be etched in the memories of fans and teammates alike and shedding the bad reputation itself would be a tall task for Gil and he could possibly start off with a clean slate over at Atlanta, and Joe has remained relatively injury free and has a very strong character which is a pivotal pillar for the growth of a young team in rebuilding mode.
The Wizards are rebuilding. With John Wall (possibly) coming in, focus and emphasis would be on developing Wall. Arenas needs the ball in his hands to be effective and I’m not sure how well he will work together with Wall. Also, the limelight would not shine as much on Arenas. As we all know, Arenas is one who craves attention and the spotlight and perhaps he could face difficulties adapting to a lesser role.
JJ would fit that role perfectly as he too can orchestrate the offense and is a natural SG by trade. He was never one to be bothered about being the “number one option” at the Hawks and I can see him filling in the SG void that Arenas leaves behind perfectly.
Why ATL needs him?
1. He puts fans in their seats!
2. Better closer then JJ. Over the course of his career, when healthy, Arenas is an amazing, other worldly talent. He has hit numerous game winners and at times carries the load of his teams on his shoulders.
3. We now have a solid point guard. Every single team, which made the conference semi finals this year, has very solid point guard production. Except our Hawks. Bibby’s level of play is seriously declining and unless we wanna get run over by the Deron Williams, Chris Pauls, the Jameer Nelsons, Steve Nashs,Derrick Roses, Russel Westbrooks and even the Mo Williams, we better upgrade ourselves at the PG spot. (And yes I know most of that list of PGs are not in the East but we still have to play them within the course of the regular season so they still can be set as barometers )
4. He is a bonafide superstar, nuff said.
5. He’s a year younger than JJ. (yes it does make a difference)
6. He only is on the books for four more years and we would still get him until the last years of his prime, after that we get cap flexibility!
Why ATL doesn’t need him?
1. He is injury prone. He has undergone multiple surgeries on his knees and that could seriously be a balking point for any team looking to take Gil on board.
2 And 3.
Jeff Teague’s development, and the fact that getting Arenas does not solve our SG problem.
Jeff is an exciting player for the future. Period. Woody, this year, did not utilize Teague enough. He should have had a more integral role in the rotation but with Bibby and Jamal working the point most of the time, his chances were limited.
With JJ gone, some might argue that Jamal would move to the starting spot and this would open up more time for Teague off the bench as the sole backup to Arenas. However, Jamal is a SCORER. He is horrendous as a starter and his defensive frailties would be grossly plain to see. He is an explosive quick fire scorer and is suited perfectly for the sixth man role with the Hawks.
This leads the Hawks to an empty starting SG spot. This is where I feel that we should seriously think about using our #24th pick and drafting a player like Quincy Pondexter OR we could make a run for JJ REDICK! We would need to move other players for this to happen though.
Side note: Atlanta would be the perfect place for J.J. to release that rap album he’s been working on, and why not replace JJ with another J.J. ?
All this being said, if JJ agrees to a compromise and accepts a lesser contract or lesser years, I hope that he returns. Its just that I don’t see him as a max-guy, and he is at best a second tier star player. It would not be wise for the Hawks to sign him long term for big money, I just feel its not worth it.
What say you all?
Thanks for the read.