First off I want to clarify that this post is not an attack on Joe Johnson. I love the guy. He chose to come to a brutally bad franchise, put the team on his back, and carried them back to the playoffs last year and a winning record this year. By no means a simple feat since the Hawks do not have another consistent scoring option. And no, Flip Murray jacking up shot after shot does not count.
However, I can tell you now that Joe will never carry a team to the finals and especially not to a championship carrying the majority of the load. Once again, this is not an insult. By my count there are only 6 guys in the NBA that can carry a team to a championship: LeBron, Wade, Kobe, Paul, Howard (in a couple of years if not now), and Duncan. That's it. If you don't have one of those 6 guys, then you need to surround yourself with some good other talent. I think Joe could have been one of the league's all-time best #2 options in the right environment. I'm talking Pippin good. But we don't have a Jordan on our team, so the question remains where do the Hawks go from here?
The main thing the Hawks need to do if find a consistent #2 scoring option. Right now we don't have it. Bibby is a glorified jump shooter, he can't get open on his own when it counts. Josh's offensive game consists of putting his head down and recklessly charging the basket. Marvin has the potential, but he is too timid and not developed enough in the paint. Horford has the chance as well, but his post game needs to be refined. Right now he has one post move, the baby hook from the left block.
So the question remains, how do we get a #2 scoring option? Do we continue to hope our young guys develop into that option by accident and summer training (they sure as hell aren't getting it from Woody), or do we take a chance, deal some of our assets, and acquire a #2 scoring option like Cleveland did to get Mo Williams (who is like a younger Bibby)? We need to acquire that option if our young players can't develop within the next couple of years since Joe is just getting older, and next year is his last year. Do we try to trade Bibby's expiring contract this year? Do we wait until his salary comes off the books and try to sign a free agent? Do we try to pry Monta Ellis from the Warriors since they are allegedly upset with him?
More than likely there will be no moves this year as our GM lets the team and the fans taste a winning record before shaking things up. So these questions and more will have to wait until the offseason.