Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is in Los Angeles tonight to mingle with free agents and agents of free agents. One such being Atlanta's Joe Johnson. But, the Hawks are reportedly ready to swoop in for a meeting with Johnson just as free agency opens (11:01 CT)with a max-contract offer.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the six-year deal would be worth in the neighborhood of $119 million, about $27 more than any other team can offer. Of course, that doesn't preclude the potential for a sign-and-trade -- the Mavs' lone avenue to acquiring a high-dollar free agent -- but that would be a massive contract for even Cuban to swallow. A max deal might also indicate that the Hawks aren't willing to trade Johnson. If they wanted to trade him, why flash a max deal when they don't have to.
The Knicks also have keen interest in Johnson. New York reportedly hoped to bring Johnson aboard to help recruit LeBron James.
If Johnson is taken off the board before the bidding begins, it would be a blow to the Mavericks, who view Johnson as an obvious notch below James and Dwyane Wade, but as a good fit at a position that's been unsettled since Michael Finley.