Ivan Johnson wants to stay in the NBA, but he’s tired of waiting around for an offer to roll in.
He’s got options — teams in Italy and China have come knocking with decent offers — so he and his agent are giving NBA teams a deadline, reports Chris Haynes at CSNNW.com.
A source close to the power forward informed CSNNW.com that Johnson is issuing NBA teams a two-week deadline to come up with a reasonable offer. If no NBA offer presents itself, Johnson will bite on one of his several overseas offers.
The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of these talks says, “Johnson will be fine either way, as long as he is playing the game of basketball.”
There are not many NBA roster spots left, most teams are full (or in the case of the Rockets overstuffed — they have 18 guaranteed contracts and only 15 slots, they are one of a few teams over the limit).
One team that does have space is the Knicks, and there have been talks, but they seem to have cooled (and the Knicks also are talking to Earl Barron among others).
Johnson played pretty well in a limited role for the Hawks last season, averaging 6.6 points on 52 percent shooting, plus he is a good rebounder and a big body in the paint. Part of the hesitancy of teams likely his reputation — this is a guy banned from the Korean league after a gesture to a referee and who got in a bench spat with Larry Drew in Atlanta. When it comes to adding guys 14-15 at the end of the bench, teams want someone they think blends in with the team.
Johnson likely gets a shot in the NBA if he’s patient, but if he’s got good offers from overseas it’s hard not to take the bird in the hand.