The Mavericks have signed free agent power forward Ivan Johnson, the team announced via press release. Johnson, 30, was out of the NBA this past season after making his mark in two years with the Hawks, but he hooked on with the Mavs’ summer league team this year, and there had reportedly been mutual optimism that the sides would get a deal done for training camp, if not more. Dallas GM Donnie Nelson said earlier this month that the organization regarded him as “more than just a summer league guy.”
It’ll have to be a minimum-salary arrangement of some kind for Johnson, since the capped-out Mavs are out of exceptions. It’s not immediately clear whether the deal includes any guaranteed salary, or how long it runs.
The Jeremiah Haylett client had reportedly worked out for the Nets, Blazers and Spurs this summer, and he did the same for multiple teams late last season when he returned from having played in China. Johnson chose a more lucrative deal with Zhejiang Chouzhou last year when NBA teams were offering only the minimum, as he told Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com recently, but it appears he’s willing to take the minimum to come back to the NBA this time around.
Johnson went undrafted out of Cal State San Bernardino in 2008, and it wasn’t until 2011 that he found himself in an NBA preseason training camp. He took full advantage of the opportunity with the Hawks and became a part of the team’s rotation, averaging 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. The rough-and-tumble inside player was a dominant force in China, where he put up 26.0 PPG and 9.9 RPG in 32.8 MPG this past season.