The Hawks re-signed restricted free agent Ivan Johnson Tuesday.
The Hawks extended Johnson a qualifying offer this summer to retain salary-matching rights if he had signed an offer sheet with another team. Under NBA rules, Johnson’s offer was for one year and worth about $966,000 guaranteed. The offer, unless extended, would have expired on Oct. 1.
Last season, as a rookie, Johnson averaged 6.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 16.7 minutes in 56 games off the bench. The forward led the Hawks with a .513 field goal percentage.
The 28-year-old tied for sixth among NBA rookies with three double-doubles. He was third in field goal percentage, 14th in rebounds and 18th in points for first-year players. He was named the Rookie of the Month for April in the Eastern Conference.
Johnson was a surprise addition to Atlanta’s roster last season after a strong training camp.He had his career derailed by a wayward college career and anger-management issues, including a ban from the Korean Basketball League.Johnson quickly became a fan favorite because of his powerful build, menacing appearance and physical style.He became a productive rotation player for the Hawks after injuries to Al Horford and Jason Collins thinned the frontcourt.
Johnson’s temper did get him into trouble on a couple occasions. Coach Larry Drew sent Johnson home from a game in Orlando and fined him after Johnson argued with teammates on the bench. The NBA also fined Johnson $25,000 for giving fans the middle finger while leaving the court following Atlanta’s final playoff loss to Boston.
- Chris Vivlamore