Word broke yesterday morning that Joe Johnson wants to head to NYC to play for his former coach, Mike D'Antoni and the feeling appears to be mutual. The words "max contract" are being thrown around and I have to ask, is he worth it?
To answer simply, if Joe Johnson is worth a max contract, Andre Iguodala is worth more. Don't get me wrong, personally, I don't think either guy is worth a max contract, but Iguodla is two-and-a-half years younger than Johnson, he's more durable, more versatile, a more efficient scorer, a better defender and a better rebounder. Johnson holds a slight edge on Iguodala in assists, turnovers and the all important points-per-game.
If these rumors are true and Donnie Walsh's master plan begins to unfold with a max contract for Joe Johnson, the Knicks are in serious trouble. Figure signing Johnson probably takes Wade and LeBron off the table (if they were ever really on it to begin with). That means Walsh probably goes after one of the three big name bigs in free agency: Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer. Does a core of Johnson and any of those guys seem like a championship-level core to you? Does paying Joe Johnson nearly $20M when he's 34 seem like a route to success?
Part of me hopes the other teams with significant cap space have equally futile plans in place, although that would probably mean a super team is going to be created out of thin air with two or three of the truly big names landing on one team. A bigger part of me hopes LeBron does find his way to the Knicks so he can fail on the biggest stage. What I'm really looking forward to, though, is for these new contracts to get on the books so we can finally put the proper perspective on Iguodala's deal.