Phoenix Suns: Who is at risk of being squeezed out of the rotation?

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Phoenix Suns depth options: When Deandre Ayton sits.

The players: Cameron Johnson, Langston Galloway.

Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson is a natural fit for the spotlight, something he’s seen in college at North Carolina and while eating up big minutes off the bench with the Suns.

His middle name is Jordan, after all.

And Cam Johnson’s playing time is not disappearing. The now-25-year-old is locked in and providing energy and scoring off the bench.

That’s a good thing for coach Monty Williams’ game planning. Set it and forget it.

The squeeze already happened for Langston Galloway, despite the sharpshooter’s improving numbers the past three years.

Galloway hit .355 from 3-point range in 2018-19, .399 last season and is burying .451 percent to this point in 2020-21. Before the All-Star break, Galloway proved to be instant offense, hitting 38 of his 82 attempts from beyond the arc (.471).

He doesn’t possess the all-around game to stick in the regular rotation, though, and he hasn’t played since March 30.

Come playoff time, Williams should keep the “Galloway Friday Factor” in mind. In a stat that exists primarily for entertainment purposes only, Galloway has hit .700 from long range on Fridays — 14 for 20. He could help kick off the weekend right.

But Booker’s backup spot belongs to Cam Johnson, acquired by the Suns after being picked 11th overall by Minnesota in 2019 who continues to confound draft-day critics with an improving overall game.

Johnson’s rookie year signaled his 3-point prowess as he connected at a .390 rate from deep, and that number ticked up a little this season to .394.

He’s also improved his 2-point field-goal mark from .526 to .579 — hitting midrange shots at a more Booker-ish rate — and his defense has been continually improving (as he watches good friend Mikal Bridges lead by example).

In case of emergency: The Suns are almost unbeatable when they’re hitting long-range shots, so losing Booker would require quality shot-making rates from Johnson, Galloway and more in order to survive during the postseason. Suns fans are saying, “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, huh?”