Ivan Johnson To Play For Mavs D-League Team

FRIDAY, 2:38pm: The Legends have claimed Johnson, the team announced.

THURSDAY, 1:48pm: Sources tell Bryan Gutierrez of ESPNDallas.com that Johnson will join the Texas Legends, who are the affiliate of the Mavs (Twitter link; hat tip to David Pick of Eurobasket.com). Still, it appears that the Legends will have to acquire him through D-League waivers rather than sign him outright, since Dallas instead kept the D-League rights to four other preseason cuts, leaving the Mavs without a chance to do so with Johnson.

1:26pm: Two-year NBA veteran Ivan Johnson is joining the D-League, which will assign him to a team through its waiver system, sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). Charania’s tweet indicates that Johnson has already signed, though the D-League has yet to make a formal announcement. Johnson spent the preseason with the Mavs, who cut him before opening night after signing him to a partially guaranteed deal over the summer.

The 30-year-old power forward played in China last season after the end of a two-year run with the Hawks in which he significantly enhanced his profile. Johnson bounced around the D-League and international ball after going undrafted out of Cal State San Bernardino in 2008, but eventually his physical play helped him carve out a consistent role with the Hawks, for whom he averaged 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game across 125 total appearances. He held out for more than the minimum salary despite interest from a handful of NBA teams in the summer of 2013, but he was willing to settle for the minimum this past offseason after a year out of the league. The Jeremiah Haylett client reportedly worked out for the Nets, Spurs and Blazers not long before inking with the Mavs.

Johnson will remain free to sign with any NBA team no matter the D-League club he ends up with. He averaged 22.6 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 31.3 MPG over 49 D-League games in 2010/11, his last season before joining the Hawks, so he no doubt hopes a similar performance will once again vault him into the Association.

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