Atlanta Hawks fans have argued among themselves. They have heard it from other fans around the NBA. The argument goes something like this: Joe Johnson is overpaid. Al Horford and Josh Smith are better.
Well, it seems like Neil Paine of basketballreference.com agrees. Or at least that's what his mathematical APBRmetric-thingy says.
Using a formula that I could never figure out, Paine ranks the top 593 NBA players of 2012. And three Hawks finished in the top 60.
Al Horford is the top ranked balla in the ATL, finishing one out of the top 20 at No. 21. Josh Smith dunks his way into the No. 27 spot, while max-contract man Joe Johnson didn't even crack the top 50. The $119 million man ranked 51st in the survey.
The usual suspects topped the list. Ringless LeBron James of the Best Team Ever (not named the Dallas Mavericks)* was No. 1, followed by Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant. Kobe Bryant finished No. 8.
As far as the rest of the future an former Hawks go, Jamal Crawford was No. 117 on the list, followed by Marvin Williams (No. 213), Zaza Pachulia (No. 323), Kirk Hinrich (No. 404), Jeff Teague (No. 427) and Damien Wilkins (No. 467). Etan Thomas came in at No. 486, while Hilton Armstrong ranked 553rd. Jason Collins finished in the 556th position and Josh Powell was dead last at No. 593.
Pape Sy and Magnum Rolle were not ranked in the survey, nor was 2011 second-round pick Keith Benson.