Last season, the Hawks offered Joe 60 m for 4 years and he declined. I was rather unhappy that he did not re-sign. However, based on the comments on the blogs, Joe should play out his contract. That can only mean one thing to the Hawks. The Hawks will have to pay more to keep Joe Johnson.
Before we go ahead, let me make one thing clear. A players value is based on not only his skill level, but the demand for his skill. Rashad Lewis did not get a max contract becos he is the best power forward. He got a max contract becos at that point in time, there was a high demand for his skill and Orlando needed a strong complement to Dwight Howard from the perimeter. For that, they were willing to over pay. Gilbert Arenas did not get a max deal from Washington until he started flirting with other teams and someone else was willing to offer him a max deal. Timing is also very important. If Joes contract had ended this season, he might not have commanded a max deal. But he is fortunate to be in the golden year of 2010.
Is Joe worth a max deal? Well, I don’t know and frankly, that is not really important. But one thing is for sure . He will get a max deal from either the Hawks or someone else. Why? Becos , next season , there will be a high demand for a second fiddle for teams like Cleveland, Chicago and Miami or from teams like New York if they fail to sign LeBron or Wade. Price has always been and will always be a convergence of demand and supply and next year, Joe will be in the lovely place of being in high demand with a limited supply of players with his skills. And for those who say that the Hawks should not offer Joe a Max deal. The reality is that the Hawks will find it very difficult to find a player near his skill level to replace him. This can only mean not resigning Joe will mean that the Hawks progress might be in Jeopardy. After 6 years of progress, why risk not resigning Joe?
So my fellow blogger, the question is not is Joe worth a max deal? The question is will Joe get a max deal. The answer my friend is YES.
Note: all these teams mentioned above have the cap space to sign Joe even if they keep their star player.