Archives For Ivan Johnson

The Hawks have waived Jared Cunningham, per a press released from the team.

Cunningham only appeared in five games and scored two total points this season. He had a PER of -1.8 in 22 minutes of play.

The move opens up a roster spot for the Hawks, which they have used to sign Dexter Pittman to a 10-day contract, according to the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore. Pittman will be available tonight against the Knicks, also per Vivlamore. Pittman last played with Miami and Memphis.

In what has become the rule, rather than the exception, yesterday’s NBA trade deadline was yet another snooze fest. The only GM who made a significant move was Larry Bird, who traded the expiring Danny Granger, whom the Pacers were unlikely to retain, for Evan Turner, who is averaging over 17 points, six rebounds and almost four assists per game.

One team that did NOT make a significant move was the Atlanta Hawks. Danny Ferry traded the rights to Cenk Akyol, a former 2nd round pick who will never play in the NBA, for Antawn Jamison, who may never play for the Hawks. With Real GM reporting that Cartier Martin has been signed for the balance of the season and Micah Hart reporting that Jared Cunningham has been recalled from the D-League, it’s possible the Hawks have already waived Jamison.

There was a lot of confusion on Twitter and message boards last night about the purpose of the trade, since Adrian Wojnarowski with Yahoo! Sports tweeted immediately after that a buyout was possible. The purpose, from the Hawks’ perspective, was explained by Brad Turner, the L.A. Times beat writer for the Clippers: Continue Reading…

Emiliano Carchia with Sportando.net is reporting that Ivan Johnson has been waived by Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball Association:

Chinese team Zhejiang announced that they have waived Ivan Johnson and signed Mike Harris. Johnson was averaging 25.8ppg, 10.2rpg and 2apg in CBA in 25 games. Mike Harris has played with the Jazz this season averaging 4.2ppg in 20 games.

Chris Vivlamore, beat writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, previously reported that the Hawks have interest in bringing Johnson back to the team. Johnson’s agent, Jeremiah Haylett, told HawksHoop.com in August that Johnson intended to return to the NBA upon conclusion of the CBA season.

As you may have heard, Ivan Johnson will be playing in China next season.

My simple question is… why?

It was my understanding back in late-June/early-July that Ivan was unlikely to be brought back due his outwardly rebellious nature. I mean, this is the guy that is banned from the Korean Basketball League. While Ivan’s behavior in the NBA hasn’t been as noteworthy, he was still a guy that was continuously in Coach Drew’s doghouse for things like showing up late to meetings, practices, games, etc.

So even though I didn’t anticipate seeing Ivan in an ATL uniform for the 2013-14 season, I did think he would make it with another team, even at a price tag worth more than the veteran’s minimum. His per game averages of 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds may not sound that game changing, but consider that Ivan was only playing 15 minutes a game. Those are per-36 averages of almost 16 points and nine rebounds. On the more advanced side of stats, he had a PER of 15.7 and a true-shooting of 54.6%, which is higher than the league average. He’s also a positive defender that is capable of defending all three frontcourt positions. Even if he can be a little rough on a team’s PR department, those are still good enough stats and attributes to be in an NBA team’s rotation.

The good news for Ivan Johnson fans is that his agent hints they may be back in the NBA once the Chinese season is over. The Chinese season ends in March and Ivan will still be eligible to sign with any team. With this being the case, I could definitely see Ivan getting looks from some of the league’s contenders in hopes of adding an impact bench player before the playoffs. (ala Tracy McGrady with the Spurs… except that Ivan would probably get real playing time)

Let’s take a look back at some of Ivan’s best moments as a Hawk. (WARNING: NSFW language)

As first reported by Hupu.com (hat tip as always to Jorge Sierra with HoopsHype), unrestricted free agent Ivan Johnson has signed a one-year contract with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. As Johnson’s agent Jeremiah Haylett explained to HawksHoop.com this morning, this does not preclude Johnson from signing with an NBA team for the balance of this season once the Chinese Basketball Association season concludes.

“[There is] no NBA out but the season is only 3.5 months,” said Haylett via email. “We have plans to return to the NBA after the CBA season.”

Haylett wished to express his and Johnson’s appreciation to Hawks fans who pulled for Johnson throughout this process.

“Ivan and I would like to thank all the Atlanta fans and NBA fans for their support, during the season and especially for their support during free agency,” said Haylett. “We had to weigh a great offer with Zhejiang (a good CBA organization) vs. interest and no movement from NBA teams.”

As with Tracy McGrady last season, who signed with the Spurs after playing out a single season contract in the CBA, the possibility will remain open for an NBA team to sign Johnson prior to the conclusion of the season, making him eligible for the playoffs.

I’ve made frequent reference to Gothic Ginobili’s NBA Player Capsule series from last summer, in particular to Aaron McGuire’s capsule on Al Horford. It’s worth another look, particularly his opening argument:

I don’t think there are many people who understand how good Horford is, when he’s on the court. Seriously. For the past two or three years, I’ve been waiting for him to have a fully healthy year where people actually watch the Hawks and start to understand how lights out he’s been for that team.

Last season, Horford had the healthy season McGuire has been waiting for. However, with no All-Star selection to show for it, Horford seems entrenched in the category of under-appreciated players. Or is he? Hoopsworld has been doing a series on the top six players at each position, and writer Tommy Beer ranks Horford the 4th-best center in the NBA. Further, Beer quotes an astounding stat:

Horford has now appeared in 391 regular season games, and has posted a composite average of 13.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, while shooting 53.9 percent from the floor. Per Elias, this places him in elite company, as only four other players matched those averages through the same number of games played – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard and Artis Gilmore.

Continue Reading…

Well, that was somewhat unexpected.

According to the AJC, the Hawks have extended the qualifying offer to Jeff Teague, but not to Ivan Johnson. This move makes Ivan an unrestricted free agent.

My take on the move is that the Hawks no longer see Ivan as someone who fits in with the culture of the team. Sure, they could still bring him back, but Ivan’s attitude at times means that this move isn’t a huge surprise; just a little unexpected.

Ivan averaged almost 16 points and nine rebounds per 36 minutes last season. He did this while getting playing time at all three frontcourt positions and playing above-average defense at all of them. If this move does signal the end of Ivan’s time in Atlanta, it will be the departure of an ATL fan favorite.

In my series preview, I said that “the way to beat the Pacers is to hit them in the mouth at the start of the series.” When I said hit them in the mouth, I didn’t have 3-guard lineups, Kyle Korver guarding Paul George or the return of The Horford Treatment in mind. Watching DeShawn Stevenson go -20 in 44 minutes in the first two games was also not what I had in mind.

What I had in mind was Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague playing at least 40 minutes per game and Devin Harris, Ivan Johnson and Korver playing at least 30. In Game 3, Horford and Harris played right at 40 minutes while Smith, Teague, Korver and Johnson all played close to 30. Continue Reading…

I keep hearing that the ceiling for the Atlanta Hawks is the second round of the playoffs. As I noted in the preseason, I’ve never bought this line. I didn’t buy it two playoffs ago when the Hawks pushed Chicago to Game 6; and I didn’t buy it last season when, as AJC columnist Mark Bradley cataloged, the Hawks blew an opportunity to face 8th-seed Philadelphia in the second round.

Prior to the Boston series, I listed five obvious mistakes Larry Drew made during his first postseason. I hoped he would learn from these mistakes, and admonished that “Drew must stop giving significant minutes to scrubs and washed up veterans.” Far from heeding my advice, Drew entrusted his offense to Jannero Pargo, one of the worst players in the NBA, in a pivotal Game 3. It would be one thing if injuries had pressed Pargo into service, but this was not the case. Kirk Hinrich, who started at point guard for the Bulls this season, was available when Drew opted to entrust his team’s season to Pargo. Continue Reading…

FINAL

ORL(19-55) 88 – 97 (41-33)ATL

Key Performers:
I. Johnson (ATL): 21 pts, 10 reb, 3 stl
N. Vucevic (ORL): 17 pts, 15 reb, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

With only 10 players available, the Hawks were eventually able to outwork the lesser Magic team, and capture their 41st win of the season. Ivan Johnson stepped up in place of Al Horford, who was sitting a second straight game with a stomach illness. Larry Drew credited Ivan in postgame, saying “[Ivan] brought a very high level of energy and intensity that I thought really got us going.”

Despite the ugly game, the win does give the Hawks a .500 season for the fifth consecutive season. The win was also the Hawks’ 10th straight over Orlando.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Believe it or not, Josh Smith is actually capable of having good games. He worked to get some good looks inside the paint in this one, although he was extremely wild with his passing. Credit his defense to forcing Tobias Harris into a bad night, which went well with his three blocks. And, wait for it… HE WENT 7-FOR-9 FROM THE FREE THROW LINE!8.5/10

Ivan Johnson: Watch this. It’s Ivan’s interview after the game. It is also probably the greatest thing ever. Ivan tied his career-high in points tonight with 21, and added 10 rebounds with it to give him his first 20-10 game of his career. He was originally supposed to be in the starting lineup, but coach Drew later changed the lineup to bring Ivan’s energy off the bench. The plan worked, as Ivan sparked the team when they appeared to be in dire straights in the first quarter. He also did this to poor Kyle O’Quinn. 10/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff had a bad night and he was visibly outplayed by both Devin Harris and Shelvin Mack. It wasn’t exactly the “Passive Teague” that we’ve seen in the past, it was just that Orlando did a good job of trying to keep him out of his comfort zone. He missed a few shots early, and then the Magic made an effort to cut off the passing lanes. Of course, considering that Jeff gets a lot of assists for the pick-and-roll with Al Horford, his absence didn’t exactly help. 3/10

Devin Harris: Devin was the Hawks’ fourth quarter, and was the reason Atlanta was able to pull away. He had 13 points in the final period, including two three-pointers. However, he’s still having trouble with his free throws, as his 5-for-9 performance tonight only added to his season-long woes. He’s still shooting 70% from the stripe on the season, but that’s down from his career number of 80%. 8/10

Kyle Korver: There start to come a point in this streak were I wonder how aware the team is of it. (it’s at 67 now, by the way) Kyle got his three in the second quarter, but then he didn’t play the entirety of the fourth quarter. I’m interested in what would happen if Kyle didn’t have a three in a game where the Hawks were blowing out an opponent. Would they put him in and let him get shots up? Either way, he can probably easily avoid that situation by staying out of foul trouble, which is why he was limited on minutes in this one. 5/10

Continue Reading…