EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Oubre, Bridges out again; Cam Johnson runs with Suns 1st unit in Flagstaff

Oct 2, 2019, 3:37 PM | Updated: 7:47 pm
Kelly Oubre Jr. (left). (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack). Mikal Bridges (middle) and Cam Johnson (righ...
Kelly Oubre Jr. (left). (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack). Mikal Bridges (middle) and Cam Johnson (right). (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images).
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — For the second straight day of training camp, Phoenix Suns wings Mikal Bridges and Kelly Oubre Jr. were limited or out of practice.

The only extra update head coach Monty Williams had on Wednesday was that there is no timetable for Oubre. It was once again described as “discomfort” in his right hand.

Williams did say that Bridges’ issue is a knee but also only went as far as saying it was “discomfort.”

Oubre had a wrap on his right hand.

Oubre was getting some conditioning work done after practice while Bridges briefly shot around while at the same time not moving around too much.

For a spot the Suns are deep at, they suddenly need bodies with only rookie Cam Johnson healthy. Point guard Elie Okobo has been running as the second unit’s small forward for the time being.

Fortunately, Johnson has been impressing in the spot.

“Not your normal rookie,” Williams said. “He knows how to space the floor and his shooting allows for guys to operate.”

The key differentiator is that Williams doesn’t see his rookie wing hesitating.

“He’s just not afraid,” he said. “When you put him out there with the starting group or the first unit, he doesn’t look like a guy who is differing at all and that’s what I like. It feels like he should be out there.”

It’s a challenge to pick out potential minutes for Johnson when the Suns are fully healthy.

Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky are at the four spot, the aforementioned Bridges and Oubre will mostly play small forward and there are not many leftovers to put together at shooting guard with Devin Booker. That’s not to mention Bridges and Oubre likely moving up or down a position to, deservedly so, get more minutes.

But if even one of the wings misses time, Johnson now becomes an important piece of the rotation.

The No. 11 overall pick in this year’s draft got off to a good start in the first live scrimmage action of camp.

“He was flying around the gym,” Saric said of Johnson. “He understands the game so well. He’s moving so well. He can shoot so well.

“He’s a guy who I’m sure will be in the rotation.”

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