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Posted: 9:18 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

Hawks have interest in Ivan Johnson 

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By Chris Vivlamore

The Hawks are one of several teams that have expressed an interest in signing Ivan Johnson once he finishes his season in the Chinese Basketball Association, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The CBA regular season ends Feb. 16.

The Hawks have inquired about Johnson’s availability and willingness to return to his former team. No agreement has been reached and no deal is imminent.

Several NBA teams have inquired about Johnson getting out of his contract with the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls prior to the end of the Chinese season. However, the forward has elected to play out his contract before considering a return to the NBA.

The Hawks chose not make Johnson a qualifying offer following last season, making the forward/center an unrestricted free agent. After getting interest from the Bulls, Knicks, Pacers and Clippers, Johnson signed a lucrative deal to play in China.

In 25 games for the Golden Bulls, Johnson is averaging 25.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in 33.0 minutes.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Johnson played two seasons for the Hawks. He averaged 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15.0 minutes while playing 69 games last season. After making the Hawks on a tryout before the 2011-12 season, Johnson averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.7 minutes while playing 56 games.

The Hawks have been considering their options to replace center Al Horford, who was lost following season-ending surgery to repair a torn right pectoral muscle. The Hawks are 4-6 since the loss of Horford.

Once the CBA season is over, Johnson will likely get interest from teams looking to bolster their frontcourt for a playoff run.

Chris Vivlamore

About Chris Vivlamore

Chris Vivlamore is the beat writer for the Atlanta Hawks at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. AJC Atlanta Hawks blog

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