John Hollinger on Joe Johnson's big bad deal

The stat geeks have always said not to pay Joe Johnson like a superstar, and now that the Hawks are poised to do just that, John Hollinger (Insider) does some more explaining as to why that's a bad idea:

Virtually every shred of evidence indicates that Johnson's next six years will be dramatically worse than the previous six. He's 28 years old and already has more than 25,000 minutes on his odometer. Trolling through my similarity database, I find that the 10 most comparable players are Michael Finley, Richard Hamilton, Jalen Rose, Vince Carter, Jamal Mashburn, Steve Smith, Glen Rice, Jerry Stackhouse, Allan Houston and Glenn Robinson.

None of them made an All-Star team after age 30. Johnson will be paid like an All-Star -- check that, a superstar -- until he's 33.

A few days ago, Kevin Pelton picked this contract as a strong candidate to become the worst in the NBA in a couple of years. If this contract proves to have been a mistake, the stat geeks will have to be credited with seeing something the NBA market does not. And if not ... well, at least they're giving Johnson some good bulletin board material.