Johnson to re-sign with Hawks

After two days of tinkering with contract language, Joe Johnson(notes) has agreed to a six-year, $119 million deal to stay with the Atlanta Hawks.

Once the Hawks made a maximum offer on Thursday, Johnson never gave serious consideration to anything but a return to the Hawks. The Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks tried to engage him in talks, but Johnson did little more than politely listen.

This is likely Johnson’s last major contract, and he had no interest in costing himself as much as $27 million by leaving Atlanta. What’s more, Johnson, 28, has felt invested in the rise of the franchise into an Eastern Conference contender and believes the Hawks can still advance into the elite.

Led by Johnson, the Hawks have made three straight playoff trips, the past two of which ended in the East semifinals.

“His priorities are his family, his friends and his game,” Johnson’s agent Arn Tellem wrote in a blog entry for The Huffington Post. “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.”


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Updated Sunday, Jul 4, 2010