Suns announce Cam Johnson, Ty Jerome will not play in summer league

Jul 6, 2019, 9:12 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm
(Twitter Photo/@Suns)...
(Twitter Photo/@Suns)
(Twitter Photo/@Suns)

LAS VEGAS — To the surprise of many, the Phoenix Suns announced Saturday night that rookies Cam Johnson and Ty Jerome will not participate in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.

Like many teams across the league, the Suns had to wait until the league’s moratorium period lifted on Saturday morning for agreed-upon trades to officially go through. Phoenix’s draft-day deals involving Johnson and Jerome were made official in the afternoon.

The Suns later revealed the signings of Johnson and Jerome to their rookie-scale contracts were done, only to note both will not play in Las Vegas.

“After careful consideration, they will not participate in the summer league games,” general manager James Jones said in a team release. “They have not had the adequate opportunities to practice and train with our team. We are excited to have them with us and look forward to seeing them play this upcoming season.”

Jerome and Johnson could not practice with the team prior to summer league play because they were not officially members of the team yet. The expectation, however, was that the two would play for the Suns, potentially as early as Sunday against the New York Knicks.

The duo was not on the roster for Friday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, a game that was later canceled due to an earthquake at the arena earlier in the evening.

Jerome, Johnson and undrafted free agent signing Jalen Lecque will speak to the media as members of the Suns for the first time on Sunday prior to the game against the Knicks. Jones will also answer questions for the first time about the Suns’ moves this offseason.

Top selections like Atlanta’s De’Andre Hunter and Minnesota’s Jarrett Culver were also held out of their team’s initial games, but those teams have not announced yet if either player will suit up in Las Vegas.

While Jerome and Johnson have not practiced yet, it’s a peculiar decision given how much of summer league is still left.

The Suns have at least four games remaining on the schedule and could play all the way up until July 15. The team will play on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday before tournament play begins on Friday. In theory, Jerome and Johnson should have had more than enough time to practice with the team for a few days before playing on Wednesday and/or Friday.

The absence of Jerome and Johnson takes quite a bit of the energy out of the Suns’ remaining games.

Former second-round pick Elie Okobo and Lecque headline the group with some notability still, but in an event that brings hundreds of Suns fans to Vegas, most will leave disappointed they couldn’t see their teams’ first-round picks in action.

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