Cameron Johnson is gearing up for what could be his most important season of his young career. Unfortunately, for both the Phoenix Suns and Johnson, the two sides were unable to come to a deal on a rookie extension on Monday.
While Johnson will have to showcase his worth to Phoenix this season, the fourth-year forward doesn’t seemed phased by missing out on an extension.
“Kinda just moving on, ” said Johnson to reporters on Tuesday. “Either way I’m excited to play this year…Obviously I would of loved to come to a conclusion. Fact of the matter is I’m here this year and that’s what I’m focused on.”
Johnson also noted that his overall goal is to stay with the Suns long-term, and he also has this entire season before having to cross the negotiation bridge again. Arizona Sport’s Flex From Jersey reported that Johnson and his agents were seeking a deal around $85 million. This created a slight gap in the reported four-year, $72 million offered by the Suns.
General manager James Jones played a similar game with Deandre Ayton this offseason. While it did save the Suns a bit of money on the cap sheets, the strain it put on the Suns relationship with Ayton was notable.
Johnson also mentioned how the change in ownership during negotiations can make things a bit complex. Given that Phoenix has yet to find a new owner, the fluctuation of money could complicate signings.
Even so, the 6-foot-8 forward looks excited to aid the Suns in their championship pursuit. Phoenix opens its season on Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks. The Suns have a lot of work ahead as they look to erase last season’s deflating elimination from the minds of fans.
If such can be the case, while developing into a $20 million per year player, Johnson’s holdout would have been worth it.