player personnel source in the NBA's Eastern Conference tells us that the Atlanta Hawks not only intend to offer Suns restricted free agent guard Joe Johnson a maximum contract offer on July 22, there are people within the Hawks organization saying they're going to end up getting him.
And a Western Conference source tells us that the Cleveland Cavaliers will turn their attention to Johnson now that Michael Redd has agreed to return to Milwaukee.
That has to be a scary thought to the rest of the NBA, because a 24-year-old Johnson could play Scottie Pippen to the 20-year-old LeBron James' Michael Jordan.
The exact contract could be worth between $68 million and $72 million for a five-year deal, which is what all other teams can offer Johnson.
The Suns could offer around $90 million for six seasons, but we hear the offer they have made is for six years and about $60 million.
That ultimately doesn't matter if the Suns are serious about matching all offers, which they would have seven days to do.
One source told us that most teams are convinced that the Suns will match, but perhaps Atlanta and Cleveland believe that the Suns are bluffing in attempt to get Johnson for less money.
However it plays out, if the Suns are going to keep him, they're going to pay a lot more than the $50 million for six years they could have locked him in for last summer.