Ivan Johnson signs one-year deal in China, hopes to return to NBA this season

USA TODAY Sports

Ivan Johnson will play in China this year after failing to receive suitable contract offers from the NBA.

Ivan Johnson made himself a cult favorite from the Atlanta Hawks bench over the last couple of seasons. His performance apparently wasn't enough to entice a good offer from any NBA teams, however, as the bruising big man will take his talents to China for the upcoming season.

Johnson will play for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls this year after failing to receive the offer he was looking for on the NBA market, his agent Jeremiah Haylett confirmed. Along with a higher salary, China's shorter season was also appealing to Johnson as the CBA's regular season is finished by early March -- still allowing plenty of time to catch on with an NBA team for the last few months of the season.

Zhejiang went 16-16 last season, being swept in the first round of the playoffs with former NBA players Quincy Douby, Eddy Curry and Josh Boone as the team's imports throughout the season.

Johnson averaged 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in just over 15 minutes per game with the Hawks over the past two seasons, though his career prior to the Hawks is much more interesting.

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