As we noted earlier this morning, one of the more intriguing big men still available in free agency came off the board today, when Ivan Johnson signed with China's Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Today's round of international updates includes more tidbits on Johnson's decision, along with notes on a couple other former NBA players. Let's dive in….
- Johnson's one-year deal in China doesn't include an opt-out, but the CBA season ends before the NBA season does, so the ex-Hawk is hoping to catch on with an NBA team after his run with the Golden Bulls ends, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Bulls, Knicks, Clippers, and Pacers all had some interest in Johnson, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. However, agent Jeremiah Haylett tells Zwerling that Zhejiang's offer was "so lucrative" that it persuaded his client to opt for China (Twitter links).
- Enea Trapani of Sportando, citing Meidan Katsnelson, reports that Shelden Williams has turned down offers from Euroleague teams in search of a more lucrative deal. Williams, who played in France last season, may end up in China, according to Trapani.
- Sportando also passes along a Gazzetta di Reggio report suggesting that Italian team Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia is targeting D.J. Kennedy, and keeping an eye on Cory Higgins and Lazar Hayward as possible alternatives. All three players have at least a little NBA experience, and may be more inclined to seek out NBA offers if those are available.