A Note About Joe Johnson and the Hawks

Yesterday on TrueHoop I, probably foolishly, riffed a bit on a Joe Johnson story I heard while watching TV:

Did anyone else notice Doug Collins, during the U.S. vs. Angola broadcast, saying that the reason the Hawks drafted Marvin Williams ahead of Deron Williams or Chris Paul was because their new free agent at the time, Joe Johnson, had said he wanted to play point guard? Then, says Collins, about a game into the season Johnson changed his mind. If that's true, it's as strong an argument as exists for the "best player available" school of drafting.

I was not the only one who noticed that, and immediately there were reports disputing the basic facts, including Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Lang Whitaker of SLAM, who strongly questioned that is was Johnson's idea to play point guard, or that Johnson had much to do with the team passing on the point guards.

ESPN's John Hollinger read all that and came up with one other very salient point: The 2005 NBA draft, when Atlanta passed on Williams and Paul, was in June.

Johnson didn't officially become a Hawk until August, and late into July the Suns still had not decided whether or not they would keep their restricted free agent.