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Billy King, Brooklyn Nets Should Consider Signing Ivan Johnson

May 30th, 2014 at 12:14 AM
By Martin Mihaly

'Brooklyn Nets Logo with Gold, No.2' photo (c) 2012, Landry Heaton - license:

On June 2nd, the Brooklyn Nets will begin a free agent camp that will end on June 4th.  The camp will be held at the PNY Center in New Jersey.  

There are 32 total free agents that have been invited to the camp.  Most of the players have not played in the NBA.  Of the 32, only 11 have played in the NBA.  It's not likely that the Nets would even keep any of these players past the preseason, aside from maybe one.  

Ivan Johnson has spent two seasons in the NBA, each with the Atlanta Hawks.  His last season with the Hawks was in 2012-13.  This past season he played with the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association.  Johnson signed with them in hopes that he would later receive a better offer from an NBA that was closer to his asking price.

In 125 regular season games with the Hawks, Johnson averaged 6.5 points per game and 3.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes of action.  

It's difficult to see how Johnson would fit with the Nets offensively.  Coach Jason Kidd likes big men that can either fly up the court or spread the floor with their shooting.  Johnson does neither of those things.  

Johnson also is far from a great defensive player.

He is certainly tough, though.  He is a big, strong body that can provide a physical presence for the Nets.  He is only 6'8", which makes a little bit short for the power forward position.

Whether or not Kevin Garnett retires, the Nets could still use Johnson.  His physique also looks like it can intimidate many NBA players.  He is a bruiser that players do not like to go up against.

This past season, the Nets were awful rebounding the ball.  A big part of that was because the Nets would use so many small lineups.  The team also did not have many guys that who were great at rebounding.  They traded away Reggie Evans after he was not working out well with the team.

The Nets averaged just 38.1 rebounds, good for second-to-last in the NBA.  They gave up 42.9 rebounds per game, twelfth most in the league.  Their -4.8 rebounding rate difference was also the second worst in the league.  

Brooklyn should certainly give Johnson a hard look next Monday.  If he comes into the camp ready and playing hard, the Nets should consider giving him a contract.  At worst, if Johnson does not workout for the team, his contract will only be worth the veteran's minimum.  Cutting him will cost the Nets practically nothing.



Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Basketball, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Nets, Ivan Johnson, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, NBA

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