The Phoenix Suns didn’t pay much attention to Wesley Johnson in the offseason, and as a result, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly picked him up. The Suns figured Johnson didn’t fit into their plans as they started looking at other players, but they clearly made a mistake here.
Johnson played in 50 games for the Suns last season. He averaged 8.0 points and 2.5 rebounds a game in his fifth year as an NBA player. But in the last three games of the regular season, Johnson scored double figures each time, including a 15-point effort against the Minnesota Timberwolves when he was 7-of-13 from the floor. He averaged 19 minutes a game.
The fact remains that Johnson, when he was with the Suns, gave them some quality minutes. Granted, he’s not a franchise player. He had a slightly better season than the previous year with the Timberwolves. He has produced some points, but he hasn’t realized the NBA potential many thought he once had.
But he still can provide some quality minutes, and that’s what the Suns need. If they’re going to go nine to 10 players deep, Johnson is a good player to have.
Instead he belongs to the Lakers and they signed him for the veteran minimum. The Lakers feel they’ve gotten quite a bargain in signing Johnson, and they’re probably right. He could still emerge as a very good NBA player.
Keep an eye on the Lakers-Suns game this season. Don’t be surprised if Johnson comes back to haunt Phoenix.