When you start talking about the best swingmen in the game, the conversation always begins and ends with people like LeBron, Wade, Kobe and Pierce. Those guys are Hall of Famers. As we saw last week with our Wade. vs. Kobe post, there are differing opinions on who’s the best. Below them, there’s a second tier of swingmen who can win games, but just aren’t quite franchise talent, players like Atlanta’s Joe Johnson and Philly’s Andre Iguodala.
While most will take J.J. immediately off reflex (better scorer, better team, better offensive player), Iguodala does things that maybe two or three other players in the whole league can do. He might just be the best perimeter defender in the world, as he showed us this whole year and even last summer during the World Championships. Plus, if you’re building a championship team would you rather have $56 million locked up in Iggy (a very high number as it is) or nearly $124 million to J.J.? Atlanta will be paying Johnson nearly $25 million in 2015-16 when he’ll be 34 years old.
Iggy gives you shutdown defense and versatility. Johnson gives you a creator, a shooter. Who would you rather have?
Johnson vs. Iguodala. We argue. You decide.
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Joe Johnson is the closest thing to the Swiss Army Knife of the NBA. There’s not much the Atlanta Hawks’ guard can’t do.
He has the tightest handle of anyone 6-foot-7 or taller not named LeBron James, a picturesque jump shot and the vision of a point guard. But it’s his jumper that makes Johnson so dangerous. It’s also that jumper that makes him a better all-around basketball player than the Philadelphia 76ers’ Andre Iguodala.
Unlike Iguodala, Johnson has the perimeter game that opens up the offense for the rest of his team. Johnson can make defenders pay for over-helping off the ball and when he has possession, his outside potential keeps those defenders from dropping off Johnson and into passing lanes.