The Hawks extended a qualifying offer to forward Ivan Johnson by Sunday’s deadline and thus maintain the right to match any offer sheets Johnson signs as a restricted free agent.
Under CBA rules, Johnson’s offer is for one year and about $966,000 guaranteed. Johnson is free to sign the qualifying offer at any time (the signing moratorium does not apply to qualifying offers) but is likely to gauge interest from other teams before doing so.
The qualifying offer expires on Oct. 1 unless the Hawks extend it. If the offer expires, Johnson would still would be a RFA with Atlanta maintaining salary-matching rights and the two sides could continue to negotiate on a new contract.
Johnson was a surprised addition to the roster last season after a strong training camp. The self-described “old rookie” had his career derailed by anger-management issues.
Johnson quickly became a fan favorite because of his powerful build, menacing appearance and physical style. Johnson turned out to be a productive rotation player for the Hawks after injuries to Al Horford and Jason Collins thinned the front court.
Johnson’s temper did get him into trouble on a couple occasions with the Hawks. Coach Larry Drew sent Johnson home from a trip and fined him after Johnson argued with teammates on the bench and the NBA fined Johnson $25,000 for flipping off fans while leaving the court following Atlanta’s Game 6 loss to Boston.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
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