An interesting take on upcoming free agents. Hard to say I disagree with the man.
For Hawks' fans, this is the interesting part...
JOE JOHNSON: Ladies and gentleman, meet the posterchild for what's wrong with NBA Free Agency! He's a lock to get overpaid this summer. Everybody knows it, everybody jokes about it, and it's going to happen anyway. It's really kind of unbelievable. Where Amazing Happens, etc.
To be fair, the Hawks have built a team around Joe Johnson, and it's actually been pretty successful. But that's thanks in large part to Josh Smith and Al Horford. Make no mistake: Joe Johnson's a been great foundational piece for the Hawks, but the reason Atlanta's better this year is because Josh Smith stopped shooting threes, and Al Horford started kicking ass. So when the biggest difference-maker on "a team built around Joe Johnson" is someone other than Joe Johnson, what does that say about his values as franchise player?
Brandon Roy and Deron Williams are tougher calls, because you never know whether one of them might just dominate for a season and lead their teams to a title. Joe Johnson? Not gonna happen. He's a very good player, but we can be fairly certain in assuming that a team with max salary committed to Joe Johnson will never win an NBA Title. There are just too many good players that can do what he does for the half the price.
It's a shame that to keep together a great nucleus in Atlanta, the Hawks might get held hostage by an insane market and have to choose between giving him a max contract, or basically pulling the plug on the team they've built. For teams like Chicago, New York, Miami, etc, going over the luxury tax for Joe Johnson—as a supporting player—makes sense. For Atlanta to make him their highest paid player for the next six years, it'd be much harder to swallow.
Like I said, "the posterchild for what's wrong with NBA Free Agency."