Joe Johnson is not Dwyane Wade (or Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, et al.)

Hey look, what's done is (almost) done. 

We've done more than our share to say that, in a basketball decision vacuum, we're not in favor of the deal. Others have, too.

I am ready to hunker down and root like Heck for the Hawks and make the most out of what Joe Johnson and the team can provide. 

Others have a more pragmatic look, and maybe more wait and seeish...certainly not as fatalist as I.

Consider:

Lang Whitaker makes his point.

SI's Ian Thomsen states his case.is

And our friend, the AJC's Mark Bradley defends it today as well.

More after the jump----

Still, can I make a deal with these folks? If I promise not to be a royal whiner about this for the next six seasons or, at least as Lang nearly promised, we're able to trade the deal before it's up, can we agree on one thing moving forward, a point that has been made in a few places. 

I'm not picking on any one of these folks, per se, but I it's a point that has been made so often, people begin to believe it's value, but it's not applicable here.

So it goes something like this:

"Joe Johnson is only 28...what makes you think he's going to go so bad, so fast? Look at Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Ray Allen, guys like that."

And this one, too: "Joe is only a little older than Dwyane Wade (six months)...you predicting a fall off for him (Wade), too?"

Well, I thought, maybe it's a good point. OK, let's look:

Here is a look at all (5) subjects, through the looking glass of the awesome basketball-reference.com.

First, let's look at their stats through their Age 28 season:

Now let's look at the Age 28 year in particular:

Looking at these numbers, Johnson is clearly in the rear of this particular train.

Now, looking forward, let's see how things have gone for Carter, Pierce, and Allen since that Age 28 season:

All 3 players have experienced a falling down at least one level of production since their Age 28 season and, in Allen case, now that he is 34, which is where Joe's contract ends, it seems he's fallen another level.

What about Wade? Let's revisit Kevin Pelton's analysis of the current free agent crop for some futuristic projections of Wade. Pelton sees Wade dropping down in Win Shares considerably, losing 35 percent of his production by age 31 season, not immune to the effects of aging.

The difference is, between these players and Johnson, is that they all started at a production level at least one higher, and in Wade's case, much higher than Joe has established through his Age 28 season.

Pelton says this:

Then there's Johnson. His numbers look better now than they did in February because WARP 2 is more favorable to wing players. Still, Johnson is expected to heavily decline by the 2012-13 season, when he'll be 30. That will put him only halfway through the six-year contract Atlanta reportedly offered him yesterday. No matter the metric you use, second-tier wings have aged very poorly, and a long-term contract for Johnson could be a disaster for the Hawks. It's not unreasonable to suggest that within a couple of seasons we will see Johnson's contract as the single worst in the entire NBA because of its cost and its length.

I'll be pulling for Joe to beat the odds...after all, he's coming back, we're likely to have him for the duration of his contract, so why not hope for the best instead of sitting with a sour face hoping I'm right just to be right? 

I've said my piece, a few times, and it's (the contract) done, so in return for being willing to suspend my belief that falling victim to Father Time is inevitable (and soon), I want others to accept that, despite all the accolades, all-star appearances, and relative worth to the Atlanta Hawks, Joe Johnson is not, nor has been, at the level of the players he's being compared to and, as such, when he does begin to fade, it won't be to a level of usefulness as Pierce, Carter, Allen did at the same age, because Joe is already there, a level below, in his prime.

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