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Ivan Johnson agrees to deal to play in China

Aug 29, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT

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A couple weeks ago Ivan Johnson gave NBA teams an ultimatum: give me a decent offer of I’m going to play overseas next season.

Nothing came and Johnson was true to his word — he reached a deal to play next season in China, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He will play with Zhejiang Chouzhou (that was Eddie Curry’s team).

Johnson  is a four/five with good size, he is a strong rebounder and a big body in the paint. Last season he played fairly well in a limited role for the Hawks, averaging 6.6 points on 52 percent shooting, But his reputation makes teams hesitant — he was banned from the Korean league after a gesture to a referee, led the D-League in technical fouls, and last season was fined and sent home during a road trip by the Hawks after he got in a bench spat with coach Larry Drew.

Still it is likely we see Johnson in the NBA late in the season — the Chinese season ends in February and Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent at that point. You can bet after some injuries and the grind of the long NBA season some teams will be jumping to add an NBA quality big man to the roster at that point.

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