The Atlanta Hawks are among several teams interested in bringing Ivan Johnson back to the NBA. Johnson currently plays overseas in China, but his season comes to close in the middle of February, which makes a bunch of teams interested in signing the power forward before the playoffs start. He’s a physical big man who brings a number of things to the table, such as his ability to score, rebound and play defense. He probably won’t start for anyone, but he could easily come in and be one of the first guys off the bench to provide a spark with his effort while on the floor. He’ll fight for every single rebound when he plays, and this might be the exact thing the Hawks are looking for.
Atlanta struggles to rebound the basketball right now without their All-Star center Al Horford. In their last 10 games, the Hawks have been out-rebounded in every game besides one and the result has been a 4-6 record during this stretch. If they want to improve their rebounding, Johnson would be the perfect guy to join the team. He was with Atlanta last season under a different coach, but he stills knows most of the players on the team, such as Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Shelvin Mack, to name a few. I know the fans would love to see him back, too. The crowd loved Johnson whenever he took the court due to his effort and physical style of play with the Hawks. Hopefully, GM Danny Ferry can make this move happen, because it makes a lot of sense from a basketball standpoint.
Last season, Johnson averaged 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in limited action with Atlanta off the bench. However, in China, Johnson seems to have taken his game to new heights against some weaker competition. He is currently averaging 26 points and nine rebounds per game for his team. In the NBA, he will not be able to put up these types of numbers due to the caliber of players in the league, but on the right team, he could be a valuable piece going forward.
If he chooses to come back to Atlanta, Johnson would contribute to the team right away with his rebounding and surprise scoring that he’s developed while overseas. The Hawks need him badly and would welcome his low post presence on the team with open arms in order to get back to their winning ways.