Joe is 29 years old and if he signs a 6 year contract, he will be 35 by the end of the contract. FYI…There are many players that are playing at the top level at 33 /34 .Case in point, the youngest of the Boston Celtics big 3 is 33 and they made it to the NBA final. That is 3 players are the stage Joe will be in 4 to 5 years and they were still able to compete for a championship.If we get 4 to 5 years of very good basketball from Joe, the contract will be worth it.
The Hawks need to think like a WINNING TEAM . If Joe was playing for the Lakers, will they sign him to a max deal …The answer is YES. If they feel that he will be important to them in their goals. Yes Joe is not Kobe but Kobe is about 32 years old and the Lakers just signed him to a 3 year max deal without any hesitation.
Oh and here is something that is not brought up…Joe can be traded if it does not work out. Heck, even Gilbert Arenas with his baggage can be traded today( there was a rumor of a Magic trade offer). Kobe Bryant/ Ray Allen and Vince Carter are shooting guards over 32 and are still playing at the top level. Joe is less athletic and does not rely on athleticism as much as most 2 guards so it is fair to say he will still be playing at the top level in 4 or 5 years. Also, he is much taller, bigger and versatile ( can score in multiple ways) than most 2 guards and that will help him when he gets older.
We should quit looking too far into the future., NOW is the opportunity for the Hawks to win. We might never be in this situation again for a very long time. It took us over 10 years to win 50 games. Why mess with something that is working?. Here is something everyone is failing to understand. Letting Joe go to either Miami or Chicago will almost guarantee that they will be better teams than the Hawks for the next 5 years. Right now, the Magic and Cavs are the only teams better than the Hawks in the East. We must keep Joe and hope that the natural progression of Josh, Marvin and Al puts us over the Hump. If Teague turns out to be anything close to an elite guard, we can almost guarantee that in 2 years, the Hawks as presently constituted stands a chance of truly competing for a championship. Contrary to popular belief, the Hawks are not too far off from those 2 teams. We are probably 1 big man away from truly competing.
Oh and here are some counter arguments to common myths.
1. Signing Joe to a max deal will limit the Hawks flexibility. Jamal’s contract ends at the end of this season, Bibby will be in the very tradeable final year of his contract. That gives the Hawks flexibility to sign Al to a bigger, longer term contract and even add other pieces. Besides, we still have the MLE ,Childress’s contact, Mo’s final year to use as tradeable assets this season. So even if we resign Joe, we can still make trades to get better.
2. The Hawks management group cannot afford to sign Joe to a max deal. Look at the contracts signed last season. Marvin, Bibby and Zaza all had a dip in the 2nd year of their contract. This was all done to sign Joe Johnson. So Sund and co had been planning for this situation since last year. The whole reason why we traded the 31st pick and stashing talent in Europe was to have the flexibility to sign Joe.
3. A max deal is too much money and he is not worth it. A player is worth what the market can offer. If other teams are willing to offer him the max deal, then that means he is worth the max deal. It is that simple. Why should 3 or 4 teams feel that he is worth the money but the Hawks feel that he is not? .
4. The Hawks can still be a very good team without Joe. Can anyone imagine a back court of Bibby and Jamal? We would get killed in the defensive end. (Think Golden State). Has anyone thought about if Joah or Al can still be effective if they become the primary focus on offence and also receive constant double teams? Has anyone thought about how the long term effect of the fickle Atlanta fans if the Hawks start losing games in the short team? Why throw away 5 years of work on the HOPE that we will be better without Joe in the long term
Please lets make every effort to keep Joe. Talent like that doesnt come every day. As my dad use to say “a bird in hand is worth 10 in the bush”. Why mess with a sure thing?