Ivan Johnson Becomes Free Agent

January 22 at 4:01pm CST By Chuck Myron

4:01pm: The Clippers might have interest in Johnson, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

10:13am: The Zhejiang Golden Bulls have waived Ivan Johnson, the team announced, allowing the power forward to become a free agent and pursue reported NBA interest from several teams, including the Hawks (translation via Shaopeng Shen on Twitter; hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The team also announced the signing of small forward Mike Harris, whom the Jazz waived earlier this month, in a corresponding move.

Johnson was averaging 26.0 points and 9.9 rebounds in China, so it’s unclear why the team released him other than as a favor. Perhaps Johnson and the team agreed to a buyout, though that’s just my speculation. He’d become a mainstay in Atlanta’s rotation the past two seasons before signing with the Chinese team in late August. The Knicks┬áseemed to be the most engaged among the NBA clubs that eyed the Jeremiah Haylett client this past summer.

Any NBA team that signs Johnson will have to arrange for FIBA clearance before the move can become official, but that shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle. He could be in the market for a 10-day contract, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he commanded a deal for the rest of the season right away.

Harris made the Jazz out of camp, and while he averaged 4.2 points in 11.3 minutes per game for Utah, the team decided to waive the fourth-year NBA veteran before his contract became guaranteed. Unless he signed a multiyear deal, which ex-NBA players rarely do with Chinese teams, he could return to the NBA in another month or two, once Zhejiang’s season is complete.

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