James Johnson has been rumored to be of interest to the Phoenix Suns according to Draft Express. James Johnson is 6-8 and 225 pounds and plays power forward in college but is likely to be a small forward in the NBA.
Johnson has shown defensive improvement and has decreased his turnovers from his previous year. He shoots over 50% from the field and has a solid mid-range jumper.He can steal, block, and even manage to be a play maker. Overall, Johnson seems to have an above average basketball IQ.
But the question remains. Do the Phoenix Suns really need another forward?
The Phoenix Suns currently have Steve Nash, Leandro Barbosa, Goran Dragic and Jason Richardson at the 1 and 2 guard positions. With only 4 players at the guard position and Dragic still earning his wings, many sources believe the Suns should make an attempt at Ty Lawson or Jonny Flynn. Surely one of them will still be around at the 14th position and both of them look to be very promising.
Tucker, Amundson, Dudley and Amar'e currently occupy the 3 and 4 forward positions. Both Grant Hill and Matt Barnes have expired contracts and I'd wager at least 1 of them (most likely Hill) will be re-signed to the Suns. If the Suns picked up James Johnson we can pretty much guarantee that Matt Barnes won't be wearing a Suns uniform next year but that would still mean 6 players occupying two positions.
Tucker and Dudley have shown quite a bit of talent late in the 2008-2009 Season but they are still young. Would the Suns really want to add another young player to their list of developing forwards?
Considering the Suns have limited options at the guard positions and a number of players that can fill the forward positions, especially at the 3, should the Suns even consider James Johnson? Maybe they are just occupying their time looking at the other talent just in case they can't get a preferred player and have to do a sign and trade.
It's still very early and there is plenty of time before the draft so we can't assume too much at this point. There are numerous directions the Suns can go this off season. My guess is that drafting another forward just isn't one of them.