Phoenix Suns: What’s next for Cameron Johnson?

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Cameron Payne, Cameron Johnson
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Payne, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /

With Cam Johnson in the starting lineup, head coach Monty Williams will need to find a more versatile offense and a new spark off the bench.

Inside the arc, Johnson isn’t exactly lethal, but he was one of the few sources of rim pressure for Phoenix last year. He’s by no means an elite slasher or finisher, but he’s shown more willingness to attack closeouts than other players of his archetype.

Phoenix’s offense will need some tweaks, as the Booker/Bridges/Johnson trio have a lot of untapped potential. Previously, Phoenix often ran off-ball actions for Booker, while Bridges and Crowder would remain relatively stationary (lifting from the corner to the wing occasionally); with the new lineup, all three of these wings can have plays run for them, similar to how Golden State has a screen-heavy motion offense. It helps that they’re all great cutters too, so when defenses guard them too aggressively, they can slip through gaps for easy buckets.

Whether or not Cameron Payne can rediscover his form and replace Johnson as the Suns bench spark is yet to be seen, with James Jones still having time to modify the roster to his liking. The Suns added Damion Lee and Josh Okogie this offseason, neither of whom are going to be volume scorers that attack the rim or provide any game-changing production.

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Either the team plans to give Landry Shamet a majority of these bench touches, or James Jones has plans to trade Crowder for a good reserve scoring option (ideally a wing, given the current lack of depth).