The Phoenix Suns have given third year guard/forward Wesley Johnson an opportunity to show what he can do late in the season, and Johnson is doing his best to take advantage of the increased playing time. Johnson’s play over the last month may even be earning him a rotation spot for next season, if not in Phoenix than somewhere else.
Johnson’s career hasn’t gone quite as expected so far. After the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted him fourth overall in 2010 Johnson struggled with inconsistent playing time as well as playing a bit out of position, leading the Timberwolves to trade him to the Suns for a few second round draft picks.
The Suns had Johnson stuck on the bench at the beginning of the season before finally giving him some consistent playing time after the All-Star break and Johnson has responded in encouraging fashion. While starting the last 16 games, Johnson is averaging 13.5 points, grabbing 3.1 rebounds and shooting .416 from the field, which isn’t that great but is an improvement from his career sub-.400 field goal percentage.
Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after the Suns declined to pick up the option on his contract. Johnson shown that he still has some value if given the opportunity, whether as a rotation player or a roster filler. At 6’7″ and possessing solid athleticism and length, Johnson has the tools to be a player that can thrive in a role similar to what Matt Barnes has had success in over the course of his career. Whichever team signs Johnson this summer, they can feel confident that they may be getting a solid player for a minimal risk.