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Joe Johnson Knicks' First Target?

According to a variety of sources, including Mitch Lawrence from the Daily News and Chris Broussard from ESPN, the person the Knicks will see at midnight on July 1 – the absolute earliest time possible to talk to free agents – will be Hawks SG Joe Johnson.

The Knicks will have a representative in Los Angeles to talk to Johnson when the clock strikes 12, although it’s unclear as to whether they will offer the 29-year-old swingman a maximum contract immediately. This doesn’t definitely exclude the Knicks from the LeBron sweepstakes – the team will meet with LeBron in Akron on July 1 as well – but it definitely appears as if the franchise is beginning to focus on Johnson and Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire as a more realistic Plan B to LeBron.