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Hawks secure Johnson's return

Guard Joe Johnson, right, decides to return to the Hawks, who could offer the most years and dollars.

Associated Press

Guard Joe Johnson, right, decides to return to the Hawks, who could offer the most years and dollars.

ATLANTA — All-Star guard Joe Johnson agreed to a maximum contract to stay with the Hawks, his agent said Sunday.

Arn Tellem confirmed an entry he wrote for the Huffington Post website, in which he said Johnson "announced his intention to re-sign with the Hawks for six more years."

Tellem wrote that Johnson chose to remain in Atlanta over Chicago and New York, where he would have been reunited with Mike D'Antoni, his former coach in Phoenix.

Terms were not announced, and the Hawks would not comment, citing the NBA's moratorium on signings. Deals can't become official until Thursday.

The Hawks could pay him nearly $120 million, while other teams could only give Johnson five years and pay him about $25 million less.

That made it easy to stick with the Hawks, who have reached the second round of the playoffs the past two years with Johnson as their top player. He's a four-time All-Star and has averaged more than 20 points in each of his five years with the Hawks.

"His priorities are his family, his friends and his game," Tellem wrote. "Joe could have forced a sign-and-trade deal for five years with another team, but he decided that winning in Atlanta would be more meaningful. When the Hawks offered the maximum — six years — he happily reciprocated."

Up next

From Cleveland to Chicago, South Florida to the New York area, it was a mostly quiet Fourth of July. The real fireworks could come this week.

With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and other big names taking time to ponder their futures, the free agent market was in many ways on hold for the holiday.

"I'm sure everyone is ready to get a decision going," Wade told a Chicago TV station. He planned to use the weekend to think after meeting twice with the Bulls, plus getting visits from the Knicks and Nets. It's believed he will not have his formal sitdown with Heat president Pat Riley until later in the week.

Multiple media outlets reported that the Knicks had a second meeting late Saturday with James' representatives. Knicks president Donnie Walsh told ESPN.com the team provided more information about its salary-cap situation.

James was expected to spend the Fourth relaxing at his Bath, Ohio, home with family and friends. It will be a chance to catch his breath after a whirlwind three days during which six teams courted him. It's possible James could announce his decision in his hometown of Akron, where he is hosting a Nike camp this week.

Amare Stoudemire: The forward, who will meet with the Knicks today, continued his tour of New York, taking in the Yankees-Blue Jays game. He reportedly talked with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, his former coach in Phoenix, saying things "went great."

Hawks secure Johnson's return 07/04/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 4, 2010 11:40pm]
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