The New York Knicks probably have bigger fish to pry than Joe Johnson, but if ESPN's Chris Broussard is to be believed, it is Johnson, and not LeBron James or anyone else, that will be the first to meet with the Knicks come July 1.
When the clock strikes midnight ET in New York on July 1, Knicks team president Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D'Antoni will be in Los Angeles meeting with Johnson, who will hold all of his meetings with clubs on the West Coast. The Knicks' brass will fly to northeast Ohio to woo James at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Broussard reports that the Knicks have "emerged" as Johnson's first choice, according to league sources, and he is willing to take less money to play there if the Knicks and Hawks cannot work out a sign and trade arrangement.
However, CBS Sports' Ken Berger writes that no meeting has been scheduled yet, though he does expect to get a call from the Knicks soon.
Hawks free agent Joe Johnson is expecting a hard sell from the Knicks in the event LeBron opts to go elsewhere. Johnson has set up shop in Los Angeles with his agent, Arn Tellem, who has an excellent relationship with Walsh. As of early Monday, Johnson had yet to schedule any free-agent visits - in L.A. or elsewhere.
Berger also writes that the Clippers are a darkhorse in the Johnson sweepstakes. Meanwhile, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Mavericks will also make a run at acquiring Johnson in a sign and trade, adding that the Knicks are not his first option.