Connect with us


How To Replace Cameron Johnson’s Production

Hoops Rumors

Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson suffered a knee injury in Friday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, ending in a close loss for the Suns 108-106.

Johnson did not return to the game after landing awkwardly while changing direction. It was determined that the Suns forward tore the meniscus in his right knee. Johnson underwent surgery to repair the knee injury on Tuesday with an estimated timetable of return being one to two months.

Following the injury, the Suns have managed to go 1-1.  The Suns defeated the Trail Blazers on the tail end of a back-to-back while suffering a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.  

Johnson moved to the starting lineup in absence of disgruntled veteran Jae Crowder.  In eight games prior to the injury, Johnson averaged career highs in points per game (13.0), assists (1.8), three-point percentage (43.1), and three-pointers made per game (2.8).  

The Phoenix Suns are at the top of the Western Conference and look to be serious title contenders once again.  However, with Johnson out and Crowder on the trade block, the Suns will need an impact player to supplement Johnson’s production.

Here are the top three solutions.


Dario Saric and Torrey Craig 

Torrey Craig will likely see the biggest increase in minutes since his skill set is most similar to Johnson’s and Crowder’s among Phoenix’s bench players.  

In his second stint with the Suns, Craig was +22 in his first game as a starter against the Blazers ranking best amongst both teams.  

Although Craig’s box score may not be eye-popping, his impact on the game goes far beyond the numbers. 

Craig is a defensive-minded wing who is able to hit spot up threes and open shots.  Craig clearly understands his role and impact in crucial playoff matchups with multiple teams.

Dario Saric also played a major role for the Suns off the bench against the Blazers, putting up nine points, one assist and pulling in nine boards in twenty-one minutes.

The first game was great. The second, not so much.  

Both Craig and Saric struggled against the 76ers.  Saric only played three minutes the entire game. Craig posted three points, one assist, and one rebound in twenty-three minutes.  

With a limited number of Power-Forwards on the roster, the two big men must play at a higher level in order to keep the Suns afloat in a stacked Western Conference.  


Signing Carmelo Anthony 

The opportunity to acquire a ten-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA selection and one-time NBA scoring champion during the beginning of a season is rare. 

At age 38, future Hall of Fame forward Carmelo Anthony is still on the market.  

Last season, Carmelo posted the best TS% of his career with the Lakers at .579, all while averaging 13.3 points and two made threes a game in twenty-six minutes.  

Although he is no longer the dominant player he once was, Anthony can still score with the best of them.  

Anthony will not offer much defensively which is completely okay.  The Suns have enough capable defenders to make up for his lack of production on that end of the floor.  

With Chris Paul’s usage rate being the lowest of his career, the Suns could use another playmaker and scorer.  

We already know how much of a nightmare Paul, Booker and Ayton are for opposing teams.  Imagine having to also deal with Carmelo Anthony, one of the greatest scorers in NBA history.  


Playing Jock alongside Ayton

Although Jock Landale is only averaging five points and three rebounds in the month of November, his October performance is far from a fluke. Landale averaged 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds during that time.  

The Australian big man is 6’11” with offensive versatility beyond the three-point line.

Deandre Ayton suffered a right ankle sprain that sidelined him for 5 games, forcing Landale to take on the backup center role.  

With Landale’s offensive versatility, is it possible that Monty Williams experiments playing the two big men together?  

This would provide the Suns with size and rebounding while also still being able to stretch the floor. 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features