The Dallas Mavericks announced the signing of power forward Ivan Johnson on Tuesday afternoon. Johnson spent last season playing for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls in the Chinese Basketball Association, where he attempted seven three-pointers a game and made 32 percent of them. He did not particularly love his time there.
Johnson, exclusively a bruiser and rebounder when he played for the Atlanta Hawks from 2012 to 2014, played for Dallas' summer league team this month in Las Vegas. In one game, he was ejected for saying, "Really, motherf---er?" to a referee when he didn't get a call he wanted. This sort of thing is part of the Ivan Johnson experience.
In five summer league games, he averaged 7.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest, and he shot 4-for-20 overall from long range. It wasn't the best showing he could have hoped for, not by any means, but his stroke looked OK and it was enough for the Mavs to want another look at him.
While there's no guarantee that Johnson will make the team, training camp will give him a great opportunity. There aren't a lot of stretch fours who can actually bang around the basket, and if he can become a consistent outside threat he'd be an absolute bargain on a minimum contract.