Suns make draft-day deals involving Johnson, Jerome, Saric, Baynes official

Jul 6, 2019, 1:05 PM | Updated: 8:40 pm

(Getty Images)...

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — With the NBA’s moratorium lifting on Saturday morning, various trades made across the league became official, including three made by the Phoenix Suns on the day of the 2019 NBA Draft.

Due to the trades only becoming official on Saturday, it was expected for Suns rookies Ty Jerome and Cam Johnson would join the team’s summer league roster in Las Vegas after being previously left off. Both players were in Vegas and were seen with Suns players Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges Friday night.

The Suns, though, decided Jerome and Johnson would not play in summer league, feeling they were behind in practice and training.

On draft day, the Suns moved down from sixth to No. 11 in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves that had Phoenix also acquire power forward Dario Saric.

With the deal not being official on the night, No. 6 pick Jarrett Culver donned a Suns draft cap while the Suns’ pick Johnson wasn’t a Sun until Saturday.

Johnson, 23, was one of the best shooters in his draft class, posting a 3-point percentage over 45% in his senior year for North Carolina. Depending on if the team brings back restricted free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. or not, Johnson could be in a position to fight for any leftover scrap minutes in the forward rotation.

Saric is expected to be the team’s starting power forward on opening night. In the last year of his rookie deal before becoming a restricted free agent, the 25-year-old can space the floor while making plays with his toughness and crafty skill on the ball. Free agent signing Frank Kaminsky will fill out the position with Saric.

Jerome was picked No. 24 overall by the Suns after Phoenix dealt a protected 2020 first-round pick from the Milwaukee Picks to the Boston Celtics while also acquiring center Aron Baynes in the deal.

The combo guard Jerome, like Johnson, is primarily known for his shooting. He hit nearly 40% of his 198 attempts for Virginia last season. Jerome will have to beat out the likes of Tyler Johnson and Elie Okobo for reserve guard minutes behind Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio.

Baynes is well respected around the league for his toughness and made his mark in Boston the past two seasons, averaging 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game. The 32-year-old is expected to back up former No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton in the center rotation, replacing Richaun Holmes’ role from last season.

Phoenix traded forward T.J. Warren and the No. 32 pick in the draft to the Indiana Pacers for cash, which turned into a three-team deal when the Pacers flipped that pick to the Miami Heat for three second-round picks.

The 25-year-old was in year two of a four-year contract extension. With the deal, the Suns opened up $10.8 million in cap space for the upcoming season, most of which they used on Baynes ($5.4 million), Jerome ($2.1 million) and Saric ($3.4 million).

Despite Warren’s scoring acumen (18.0 points per game) and improved 3-point shooting (42.8%), the forward was seen as a player who didn’t fit in the Suns’ long-term picture and Phoenix was able to open up flexibility by getting off his long-term money.


Phoenix Suns

Kyle Zunic #22 of the Perth Wildcats shoots a layup against Tyler Smith #11 of G League Ignite in t...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Do Suns go project route in 2024 NBA Draft with Tyler Smith?

G League Ignite forward Tyler Smith has a combination of size and shooting rarely seen on the first-round bubble of the NBA Draft.

5 hours ago

Tyler Kolek, Marquette point guard...

Ryan Pasiecznik

Point guard Tyler Kolek picked by Suns in For The Win’s NBA mock draft

The Phoenix Suns' point guard problem could be solved in the 2024 NBA Draft if Marquette guard Tyler Kolek is on the board at No. 22.

8 hours ago

Bobi Klintman  of the Taipans in action during the round 13 NBL match between Cairns Taipans and Me...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Bobi Klintman could be Suns’ big wing in 2024 NBA Draft

If the Phoenix Suns want a bigger wing in the 2024 NBA Draft, Bobi Klintman is a headliner in the back of the first round.

1 day ago

Charles Barkley looks on prior to game three of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Ce...

Kellan Olson

Charles Barkley says next season will be his last on television

Long-time NBA analyst for TNT Charles Barkley revealed on NBA TV Friday night that next season will be his last on television.

2 days ago

Jaime Jaquez Jr. #11 of the Miami Heat is guarded by Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warrior...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Can Suns find rare instant contributor in NBA Draft?

There is no doubting the value it would bring the Phoenix Suns to select a player in the NBA Draft who was a long-term part of what they do.

2 days ago

Cam Payne's mug shot after an arrest in Scottsdale...

Arizona Sports

Former Suns PG Cam Payne arrested in Scottsdale for refusing to give identity to police

Former Phoenix Suns point guard Cam Payne was arrested for failing to provide Scottsdale Police officers with his name.

2 days ago

Suns make draft-day deals involving Johnson, Jerome, Saric, Baynes official