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Ivan Johnson takes 'lucrative' deal in China despite interest from four NBA teams

Former Hawks forward Ivan Johnson signed a deal to play in China this year despite interest from four NBA teams. ( Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images) Former Hawks forward Ivan Johnson signed a deal to play in China this year despite interest from four NBA teams. ( Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

Atlanta Hawks free agent forward Ivan Johnson has signed a deal to play in China this year despite interest from four NBA teams.

According to tweets Thursday from Jared Zwerling of ESPN, the 29-year old will play in this upcoming season for the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls even though he had drawn interest from the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers. Although terms of his deal are still unknown, Zwerling reported that Johnson's agent said the deal in China was too good to pass up:

"Because this deal was so lucrative it enticed Ivan and I to highly consider other options."

The Chinese Basketball Association begins in October and ends in February, so Johnson could theoretically play in the NBA for a team looking to bolster its frontcourt for a run in the playoffs. After signing a one-year deal with the Hawks in September 2012, the 6'8" power forward averaged 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15 minutes per game, appearing in 69 contests for Atlanta last season.

https://twitter.com/JaredZwerling/status/373083115272421379

https://twitter.com/JaredZwerling/status/373084446552899584

https://twitter.com/JaredZwerling/status/373087905654120448

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