Phoenix Suns still have major deal to make over the next 48 hours

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

With the preseason over and the opening regular season roster finalized, most eyes are now set on the Phoenix Suns opening game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

But there’s still one matter of business James Jones and the Suns front office need to address. The rookie contract extension deadline is less than 48 hours away, and there’s no confirmation on a new deal for fourth-year forward Cameron Johnson.

The Phoenix Suns need to lock away Cameron Johnson and prevent the difficult ongoing scenario the franchise faced with Deandre Ayton last season.

Phoenix agreed to a deal with Mikal Bridges in the same situation last season, yet baulked on giving a maximum extension to their former number one overall pick in Ayton. The 24-year-old’s relationship with the franchise has since been under media scrutiny, even after he eventually re-signed on a four-year, $133 million deal.

Phoenix Suns, Wrapped
Torrey Craig, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Johnson’s situation is a little more complicated given the ongoing speculation around team ownership. With controversial owner Robert Sarver looking to sell the franchise, it’s uncertain whether that fact is affecting potential deals.

Another big name agreed to terms on Saturday, with Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole agreeing on a new four-year, $140 million deal. That’s an enormous amount for a current sixth man, but it shows the Warriors desire to win and how highly they value the 23-year-old.

Speaking of the sixth man role, Johnson has vacated that position and been officially unveiled as the Suns new starting power-forward. That makes his contract situation even more fascinating; with his trajectory heading upwards and more minutes presenting themselves, wouldn’t Phoenix want to extend Johnson before his value takes another major step?

Perhaps that’s why a deal isn’t forthcoming at this stage; maybe Johnson’s backing himself to gain a greater offer in restricted free agency. A comparative recent deal would be that of his namesake, Keldon Johnson, who got a four-year, $74 million extension with the San Antonio Spurs.

Next. Phoenix Suns: Positive update on three key players ahead of season opener. dark

This is an important next day or two for a franchise aiming to secure its future. Having Johnson enter restricted free agency wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it’ll be an annoying sense of déjà vu for fans after the Ayton process.