Ivan Johnson, the 6’8” 255 pound beast of a power forward is still out in free agency land. He is a bruiser with a jumper, plain and simple. He is not the high flyer that K-Mart is, or not the unproven potential of Jeremy Tyler, but he is a solid PF who could easily average a double-double for a playoff team like NY. Could the Knicks be interested in Ivan Johnson?
Brief History and Talents:
Ivan Johnson, at the age of 29, has traveled the world as a professional basketball player. Like many young talented players out of college who do not make the league, Ivan headed out to make his dream come true. From the D-League to Korea, then onto Puerto Rico, Ivan has finally landed in the NBA with a reputation attached to him. He can bang down low, hit the mid-range jumper, and most importantly, do the dirty work that PF’s use to do back in the 80’s and 90’s. With Atlanta reconstructing their team, Ivan has been left out in the cold like some other valuable role players.
Very physical big man… Strong and tough… No beauty in his game, but gets the job done… Plays below the rim… Not very athletic.
Knicks Wants and Needs:
The Knicks, in need of multiple “bigs” to finish off their roster, would be lucky to add a player like the rough and rugged Ivan Johnson. With the toughness though also comes the reputation of a head case in the locker room. Last year he was sent home from a road trip for “conduct detrimental to the team”. What those problems were was not disclosed, but this definitely raises eyebrows.
K-Mart and Ivan?
Can the Knicks sign Johnson and K-Mart? Sure they can. The only way this can happen is if K-Mart and Ivan both sign on for the veteran’s minimum. In Ivan’s case this would be a raise from his previous salary. However, every player at this point in free agency is holding out for the most money they can.
Ivan Johnson could be an asset to this team off the bench. When it’s time to get rough and tough on the D, Ivan would be called upon. This is why adding him to this team could be a positive move in the right direction: Get a physical player, who is still some-what young compared to last years team, and keep the same defensive intensity that K-Mart brought to the team. Get it done!