Hawks To Offer Max Contract to Joe Johnson

by June 30, 2010

AJC Beat writer Michael Cunningham is reporting that the Hawks plan on offering Joe Johnson a six-year max deal (around $120 million). Good move or not for the Hawks, there’s no way Johnson could turn down this deal… could he? “When the Hawks meet with Joe Johnson in Los Angeles at the start of the free-agency negotiating period early tomorrow morning, they will offer him a six-year contract for the maximum amount allowed, according to a person with knowledge of their plans. The exact amount of maximum contracts won’t be determined until a league audit is completed over the next week, but it’s expected to total about $119 million for a player with Johnson’s experience. The other teams making pitches to Joe can only offer him five years at about $92 million. I still believe that the $27 million gap will be too much for Joe to turn down regardless of what other teams have to say about teaming up with LeBron or Bosh (or both), earning more in endorsements, or anything else not having to do with $27 million. As a Bird-rights free agent, Johnson is eligible to receive from the Hawks a six-year contract starting at about $15.8 million with maximum raises of 10.5 percent in each year (the raises are based on the first-year salary and don’t compound). Keeping in mind that the numbers are not finalized, the year-by-year breakdown of the contract would look something like this: $15.8 million in 2010-11, $17.5 million in 2011-12, $19.4 million in 2012-13, $20.8 million in 2013-14, $22.4 million in 2014-15 and $24.1 million 2015-16. Joe would be 34-years old during the final season of the deal.”