[V]irtually 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.The emphasis there is mine as this is a perfectly plausible scenario I had not previously envisioned. Ownership may or may not be willing to pay the luxury tax but they're probably not going to let Josh Childress decide whether they do or not.
None of them made an All-Star team after age 30.
Now, they've set a dangerous course toward becoming the Hornets. They aren't there yet, but Johnson is their Peja Stojakovic. The Hawks won't be under the cap anytime soon, won't be able to take on further money in trades because they're so close to the luxury tax, won't get anything for Childress in a sign-and-trade (and may need to renounce his rights to avoid the risk of his accepting the qualifying offer and pushing them into the tax), and might not be able to re-sign or replace Jamal Crawford when his contract expires a year from now and the team has $60 million committed to just eight players.
*Hollinger even uses my preferred Joe Johnson descriptive: "fringe All-Star."