Report: Joe Johnson about to accept Hawks max deal offer


jjohnson_locker.jpgAnd in the first big free agent signing of the summer… nothing happened.

Joe Johnson will remain a Hawk and accept their max-deal offer (six years, $124.5 million), according to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports. Not a shock there. Johnson’s people had been saying for weeks that ultimately he wanted to stay in Atlanta — not just because of Daddy Dz Barbecue — and if they made the offer, he would take it.

Atlanta may well come to regret this offer — they just paid a good player superstar money, they just paid a perimeter player big money until he was 34. The fifth and sixth years of this deal it could be a burden. A franchise with an estimated net worth of $306 million just agreed to a $124 million deal. But they got their man.

The Knicks also met with Johnson and made a max deal offer, but it is for five years and about $27 million less. Johnson was a guy the Knicks and a number of other teams has as their second tier targets. But Johnson was among the many free agents leery of going to New York if LeBron doesn’t go there. Do you want to be the guy expected to be the savior of that franchise right now? Do you want to have to live up to those expectations? It’s a lot to ask.

Houston, Dallas and Chicago also were trying to get meetings with Johnson, but that may all be moot now.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.