Ivan Johnson was re-signed by the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, September 18, bringing the Hawks to 13 guaranteed contracts for the 2012-2013 season.
Johnson, who was a 27 year old rookie last year, was the final restricted free agent of the 2012 class before accepting the Hawks’ qualifying offer of roughly $962,195 for this coming season.
Johnson became, as described by PeachtreeHoops, a “cult hero” when he signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Hawks last offseason. After an impressive stint in training camp and the pre-season, the Hawks offered Johnson, the former Oregon Duck, a spot on the roster.
He quickly made a name for himself as an enforcer and energy-guy off the bench who delivered hard fouls, grabbed tough rebounds in traffic, and scored down low. While his game is largely unpolished, the 100-mile-an-hour speed and the brute physicality of his play earned him a rapport with the city and the fans as he became one of the most surprising success stories of the 2011-12 season.
Johnson averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 56 games as a rookie, but more importantly (not really), was ranked second on SB Nation’s Top 5 Most Terrifying NBA Players. Jerry Stackhouse was ranked as the most terrifying NBA player, and after watching both Stackhouse and Johnson play for the Hawks last season, I think it’s pretty safe to say that they got this one wrong. Ivan Johnson scares everyone, including Jerry Stackhouse. And Nikola Pekovic. And me.