Why Is Atlanta's Joe Johnson One of the Highest-Paid Players in the NBA?

Max MinskerCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2010

ATLANTA - MAY 10:  Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks against the Orlando Magic during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Yes, I realize the Joe Johnson deal is old news, but hold on, don't quit on me yet—I do have something new to add.

Did you know that in 2016 when Joe Johnson is 35 years old he will be the highest paid player in the NBA? It's true.

The big three in Miami have taken pay cuts to play together, and Amar'e and Boozer have only signed five year deals. 

This leaves Joe Johnson as the NBA's highest paid player in the 2016-2017 season.

Players like Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker, and Chris Paul will have to accept deals under the new collective bargaining agreement meaning Johnson's contract will withstand the test of time. 

Joe Johnson is 29 years old and his numbers have not improved in four years. I am still trying to figure out why the Hawks signed him to that ridiculous contract, I mean think about it are we just going to go around and give everyone who averages 21, five, and five a maximum deal? 

Johnson really cashed in this offseason, but he really ruined his team.

Johnson did exactly the opposite of what LeBron James did this offseason. Instead of trying to win a championship he's trying to lose. It's unlikely that the Hawks will be able to surround Johnson with high quality players now that they have committed to giving him every extra penny they have.

With the new collective bargaining agreement coming into effect next year, some experts project the cap to shrink to as little as $51 million.

This season the salary cap will be $58 million. 

The Hawks have sentenced themselves to six seasons of mediocrity with this deal. This year two players over the age of 35 played in the All-Star game. One of them is Jason Kidd, who has the second most assists in NBA history, and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. Both of whom make a living off creative passing.

The Atlanta Hawks have now prevented themselves from winning an NBA championship in the next six years. They will get bad draft picks as they will make the playoffs, but they will not win an NBA championship and may not even reach a conference finals game.

There is a very real possibility that by the time Johnson reaches his contract year, he could be taking up as much as 45 percent of the Hawk's cap space.

For a 35 year old?

Unless the Hawks know something that we don't, they will come to regret offering Johnson this contract.