clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Surprise! Suns pick North Carolina forward Cam Johnson at No. 11 after trade with Minnesota

Out of nowhere, the Suns picked Cam Johnson, who was believed by some to potentially fall to the second round.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After moving back in the draft about an hour before the NBA Draft began on Thursday afternoon, the Suns used the No. 11 pick to select North Carolina’s Cam Johnson.

Minnesota originally owned the 11th pick but sought to move up to find their own point guard of the future, and after clearing cap space with another deal Thursday to get off T.J. Warren’s contract, the Suns appear to have decided on using free agency to get their point guard of the future and went with Johnson as a potential scoring forward off the bench.

In addition, the Suns grabbed Dario Saric as a young flier at the power forward spot, giving them a 2019-20 starter in addition to Johnson at No. 11. Certainly it feels like picking Johnson, who was not invited to the green room for the draft by ESPN, is a reach.

Johnson was thought by many to be picked in the 20s by a team that needed NBA-ready bench shooting, as he is already 23 and was the best three-point shooter in college basketball last year at 46 percent.

It seems new SVP Jeff Bower played a big role in scouting and selecting Johnson.

And the league is just as surprised as you might have been watching the draft on your couch.

Johnson will improve the Suns’ floor-spacing considerably and will be able to get on the court right away, but it remains to be seen whether the Suns actually needed to pull the trigger at No. 11 to get him or could have gotten him later, even all the way down at No. 32, the pick they gave up to move off of Warren’s salary.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun