NBA Free Agency Starts With a Bang

No, LeBron James didn’t sign on day one of the Summer of LeBron. If he did, it wouldn’t be his summer. In fact, I think he has his mind made up already, and instead is just seeing what people will do to try and win him over. Having declared he wants to be the first billionaire athlete, this type of personal enjoyment is not far-fetched.
Joe Johnson scores big time with this contract

The big news to come from the first day that NBA teams can talk with free agents came from Atlanta. The Hawks have agreed to a deal worth $119 million over 6 years for Joe Johnson to remain their centerpiece. Although he can’t sign it until July 8th, it is already going down as one of the worst deals in NBA history. Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie, gives a great explanation of why its so bad.

Here are some of his points:

  • Johnson is 29 years old, so most of this deal will be during his decline years
  • Johnson’s stats tend to be inflated because of the enormous minutes he plays and the amount of time he spends with the ball in his hands. Although, I personally don’t think his numbers are as inflated as Dwyer makes them out to be. I feel that his horrific performance in the second round of the playoffs hurt his value (well not to the Hawks anyway).
  • His contract could be half the salary cap of the Hawks in the upcoming years, depending on how the new collective bargaining agreement works out.

We all knew this summer was going to be the summer of big contracts in the NBA, with the best free agency class in the history of the league, but I think it is safe to say it will now exceed everyone’s imagination with teams willing to make deals like this.

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