joe-johnson
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Jun , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

World Wide Wes: LeBron James ‘is going to Chicago and Chris Bosh is coming, too’

To listen to World Wide Wes, LeBron will never look back on Cleveland. “He’s up out of there,” is the way he tells it to people, but LeBron’s Akron crew has to tsk-tsk such public talk because they all live in Northeast Ohio, and maybe always will. "We're going to Chicago," WIlliam Wesley tells people," "and Chris Bosh is coming, too." 

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: 'World Wide Wes', one of the NBA's great power brokers, believes the Chicago Bulls are poised for a big off-season. And he's right.

After dealing Kirk Hinrich and their 17th pick in Thursday's draft and getting nothing but cap space back, the Bulls have the financial flexibility to tender two max' contracts.

So The Windy City could sign LeBron James and bring in Chris Bosh, too. 

Other clubs - the Miami Heat and New York Knicks - can also offer a pair of max contracts, but the Bulls distinguish themselves by already having a star point guard in Derrick Rose and an established four-man with Joakim Noah.

Such a supporting cast may be enough for James to turn his back on the Cleveland Cavaliers -even though they can offer the most money, longest term, and he grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio.  

Even if James gets sentimental and re-signs with the Cavaliers, the Bulls could turn to superstar Joe Johnson, which isn't a bad plan-B.

Bottom line: Chicago is the team to watch this summer. 

Got thoughts?

Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Steve Kerr’s departure hurt Suns’ chances of re-signing Amar’e Stoudemire?

"Steve Kerr says he won't return as general manager of the Phoenix Suns despite building a team that made a surprising run to the Western Conference finals.

Kerr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the decision was solely his and not the result of any disagreements with owner Robert Sarver. He said he is "exploring a couple of possibilities" to return to television work."

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Publicly, Steve Kerr is saying the right things. Privately, the former sharpshooter was probably concerned owner Robert Sarver wouldn't dig into his pockets to re-sign posts Amar'e Stoudemire and Channing Frye.

After all, Sarver is about business. Always has been. He was the one who felt Joe Johnson wasn't worth a big ticket. And he was the one who instructed management to trade Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez because he didn't want to pay their rookie salaries.

Of course, that was before The Great Recession hit. And make no mistake about it, Sarver's real estate and bank holdings were certainly hit by the economic downturn.

Now Sarver - a guy who loves the publicity and headlines - is likely in charge of negotiations with superstar free agent Stoudemire. Unlike teammate Steve Nash, STAT won't give the Suns a significant hometown discount. And Frye, even in this buyer's market, deserves a raise.      

Much is at stake in Phoenix. And the wrong guy, Sarver, will be making the key decisions.

Got thoughts on this?

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Jun , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Joe Johnson leave Atlanta because of Larry Drew?

The Atlanta Hawks will hire Larry Drew as their next head coach, a league source told ESPN's Ric Bucher.

Drew and the Hawks have agreed to a three-year, $5 million deal, according to the source. Those figures are slightly less than the three-year, $6.5 million deal Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau received from the Chicago Bulls. In both cases, only two years are guaranteed.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's not official, but it might as well be.

Joe Johnson, the superstar who resurrected the sorry Atlanta Hawks, will surely leave the team as an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, in part, because of Larry Drew's hiring.

While the on-court product has improved by leaps and bounds in Atlanta, the off-court operation hasn't improved. Ownership remains a dysfunctional and divided group of partners; the only thing they share is the desire to cut costs and save cash.

For instance, instead of rewarding talented sideline boss Mike Woodson with an extension for his efforts, they let him languish as a lame-duck coach in the final year of his contract and promptly let him go in May.

The Hawks' owners apparently fired Woodson because they wanted a fresh start. Yet, they promote Drew, Woodson's long-time right-hand man, because he's cheap. 

Drew, a respected assistant coach, could prove to be competent, but being frugal isn't a good look for Atlanta.

The end result will be simple: Johnson, a terrific player, will again see the Hawks as dysfunctional and cheap. And he'll leave as an unrestricted free agent.

Will Johnson leave The ATL because of Drew? What do you think?                   

Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Jun , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

New Jersey Nets get ‘credible’ with Coach Avery Johnson

The New Jersey Nets and ESPN analyst Avery Johnson have reached a verbal agreement to hire Johnson as the Nets' new coach.

Johnson is expected to be introduced on Thursday, said a person who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the team has yet to announce the deal.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: For a coach, credibility is everything.

Most NBA players earn more money than their coach. And player contracts are usually guaranteed for several years, while the typical coach's contract has a far shorter term.

So, players, especially stars, hold leverage over the man who, in theory, is their boss. With such a dysfunctional arrangement, players won't follow a coach they don't respect or believe in.

Fortunately, for the New Jersey Nets, Johnson has credibility to burn. He holds the all time best winning percentage for a sideline boss and led the Dallas Mavericks to the sixth game of the 2006 NBA Finals. 

The current ESPN analyst will have the attention of the Nets' young core mostly because of his run with the San Antonio Spurs. Johnson may have been a role player, but The Little General's enthusiasm and leadership was key to the Spurs winning two NBA Titles.

Of course, this will be attractive to the summer's free agent class. Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade know of - and appreciate - Johnson's championship pedigree. So do second tier free agents like Carlos Boozer and Amar'e Stoudemire.

Expect the Nets to improve in 2010. And Johnson's credibility will be a big part of the turnaround.  

Is Johnson the right hire for New Jersey?

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Jun , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Nike attend the free agent summit?

There are all kinds of people in that conversation. LeBron James has said he is the ringleader. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson ... it's a who's who of this year's free agent class. In terms of having a lot at stake, those players are at the top of the list with the owners, staffs and fans of the various teams.

But there is another interested party no one has mentioned: Nike, and its affiliated Jordan brand.

That is a giant corporation with a lot of branding tied up in basketball, and specifically the footwear of the best basketball players in the world, including James, Bosh, Wade and Johnson as well as Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki and dozens more who could change teams this year. Where they all end up will not just determine the fortunes of various NBA teams, but also the abilities of those players to inspire fans to buy shoes.

Link to article by Henry Abbott on ESPN Truehoop

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: While furthering The Swoosh may not be priority one, it will be a major priority.

Players like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade view themselves as brands and value their lucrative relationships with Nike.

These players have people whose job is to figure out the impact playing for a certain team will have on sponsors. For instance, fact or fiction, much has been speculated about Nike wanting James in the world’s largest media market, New York City.

Clearly, The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 is about the business of basketball, and not so much the game of basketball. 

Got thoughts on Nike’s role in the free agent summit?

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Jun , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Brian Cardinal, Darko Milicic, and Adam Morrison to join Free Agent Summit

Last week, Wade told the Chicago Tribune that he planned to talk with fellow free agents LeBron James and Joe Johnson before making a decision on where he would sign this summer. A source told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Bosh also would be part of those talks, and Amar'e Stoudemire, who is likely to opt out of the final year of his current contract with the Phoenix Suns, told AOL Fanhouse that he planned to be part of those talks, too.

Link

HoopsVibe's Quick Call:  Rumor has it journeyman Brian Cardinal wants in. Darko Milicic also plans on attending. And Adam Morrison, the dude permanently attached to the Los Angeles Lakers' bench, may also show - if the purple-and-gold don't offer the restricted free agent a one year deal for the minimum before free agency hits.

Seriously.

Jokes aside, this summit, or whatever it's called, is getting bizarre. Sure, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Amar'e Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade, and Mother Teresa can meet and discuss their future or anything else they like. 

However, James and Wade are wasting their incredible leverage. As the game's best players, they should pick where they want to play, who they want to play with, who they want to play for, and then make the team they selected meet their demands.

Nothing else should be considered. After all, this is pro sports, not friends running together on the playground.

James and Wade have supposedly waited years for this summer. Instead of wasting time and energy consulting others, they should figure out exactly what they want and get it. 

What do you think of the free agent summit? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.

Here’s why Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker are great for New York Knicks.
Saturday , May , 29 , 2010 J.N.

Here’s why Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker are great for New York Knicks.

The two men have openly stated that they would like to play for the New York Knicks. I do not know why the New York media machine has opened their playbooks for the world to see in acquiring potential future employee number 6. While I admire their ways of applying their resources to the test for these free agents, one has to ponder that they’re probably going after the wrong guys.

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , May , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The Ulitmate ‘Sitdown’ Meeting: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade has a big decision to make on where he'll sign this offseason. And before he makes his choice, he said he'll talk it over with fellow big-ticket free agents LeBron James and Joe Johnson.

Link

HoopsVibe's Call: It was reported to be the sitdown of all sitdowns. Like the five families of New York meeting in the 1960's to split up their various interests. Yet, nobody knew if The Dons of the 2010 free agent class were really going to meet before deciding where to sign.

Until now.      

Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade will connect, chat, pick their destinations, and, ultimately, decide the landscape of the NBA for years to come. 

This foursome will discuss how to to partner-up and avoid undercutting each other on the open market. Look for Bosh and Wade to possibly sign as a package because they share the same agent, power-player Henry Thomas.

Of course, anything and everything can happen, so we'll just have to wait until July 1st. 

What do you think of Bosh, James, Johnson, and Wade's sitdown? Get at us in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , May , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Joe Johnson Expresses Interest in Miami Heat

But amid his struggles during the series, Johnson said he would take a look at all of his options this summer, including partnering with Wade.

Not only did Johnson say he wouldn't mind shifting to a secondary role on a team with an established superstar, he also would change positions.

``That's a great situation -- you have to look at it,'' Johnson told The Miami Herald while discussing his options. ``I'm not saying I'll go play with him or him. But being a free agent, you pay attention to everybody's salary cap, what everybody can do.''

No team is set up to in better position for bolder moves than Miami, the only team in the league with an elite player in tow and the flexibility to add as many as two marquee free agents to max contracts.

With plans to re-sign Wade and with at least $25 million in salary-cap space, Miami vows to be aggressive when free agency opens July 1.

``Most of the players in this league know what Miami is about,'' Heat president Pat Riley said.
 
Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , May , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Joe Johnson: I’m Not Devaluing Myself

Hawks guard Joe Johnson has struggled in the semifinals against the Magic, but the soon-to-be free agent doesn't think he's costing himself money.

"No," Johnson said after Orlando blew Atlanta out in Game 3.

He went 3-for-15 from the field and was booed at home as the Hawks fell into a 0-3 hole against the Magic.

He was, and might still be, considered worth a maximum-type contract as an unrestricted free agent, but Chris Sheridan of ESPN writes that he may have gone from "Plan B or Plan C" to someone's "Plan F or G" now.

"It was terrible, man. You hate to have performances like this, especially an individual like myself. I think these guys look to me for guidance, and with me playing like that it's almost impossible for us to win," Johnson said following Game 3.
 
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Mar , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Could Joe Johnson Lure LeBron to Knicks?

ESPN NBA analyst Ric Bucher quoted a league source yesterday when he said that LeBron James might be more interested in coming to the Knicks if they have Hawks' shooting guard Joe Johnson.

"If it's LeBron James they want," Bucher said, "a league source says the Hawks' shooting guard is a very good place to start."