Suns Add Shooting Help In UNC’s Johnson

(AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

After trading back five picks in the first round Thursday afternoon the Phoenix Suns added outside shooting help with the selection of North Carolina small forward Cameron Johnson who is expected to help spread the floor for Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.

The rangy, 6-foot-8 Johnson was called “the best shooter in this draft” by ESPN’s Jay Bilas shortly after the selection.

Many believed Johnson would be selected much later in the first, potentially even early in the second round. The 23-year-old shot an NCAA-best 46 percent from three-point range.

As ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski conveyed, there is history between Johnson and Suns Vice President of Basketball Operations Jeff Bower.

While there is an opportunity for Johnson to play immediately, only time will tell if the considered reach was worth the long-term investment. He played for his hometown Pitt Panthers from 2014-17 before grad transferring to UNC for his final two years of eligibility. 

This past season Johnson posted career highs in points per game (16.9), rebounds (5.8) and assists (2.4) in nearly 30 minutes per game. 

Johnson was not one of the 24 players selected to sit in the NBA Green Room at the draft. 

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.