After months of speculation that Tyler Johnson would not play out the full season with the Suns, those guesses have reportedly been proven correct, just not in the way we expected.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns will waive Tyler Johnson, paying out the remainder of his $19.2 million salary and paving the way for him to sign with another team for the rest of the season.
The Phoenix Suns are waiving guard Tyler Johnson, league sources tell ESPN. He will become an unrestricted agent upon clearing waivers. That will open up a roster spot for Suns.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 10, 2020
Recently, Johnson had fallen back out of the rotation and is dealing with right knee soreness that has kept him out of the past four games. The Suns, six games out of the playoff hunt and getting very little production out of Johnson, clearly want to lean more on their young guards (especially rookie Ty Jerome) as the season rolls along.
Johnson, who was expected to fill the backup shooting guard role this year, averaged just 5.7 points on 38 percent shooting. He appeared in only 31 of 53 games for the team.
As Wojnarowski notes, the move opens up a roster spot for the Suns, though with the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, they have little means of filling that hole. Their options would include a G League player, a player bought out by a different NBA team, or elevating one of Jared Harper or Tariq Owens to the NBA roster.