Suns’ Cam Johnson, Cam Payne each injure finger in preseason vs. Lakers

Oct 5, 2022, 8:10 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2022, 7:59 am

Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the first half against the Adelaide 3...

Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the first half against the Adelaide 36ers at Footprint Center on October 02, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 36ers beat the Suns 134-124. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson (right thumb sprain) and Cam Payne (right finger sprain) did not return in Wednesday’s preseason matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers after each of them injured a finger.

Johnson played four minutes in the first quarter before sustaining the injury. Damion Lee took his place on the court.

Payne made his usual first entrance into the game around the six-minute mark to check in for Chris Paul before a ball off the backboard caught him in the finger. Payne only logged a minute before being taken out for Landry Shamet.

Both players are critical parts of the Suns’ rotation.

Johnson will be the team’s new starting power forward, taking Jae Crowder’s spot, who is currently not with the team after reportedly being told he would not receive a contract extension or starting spot. If Johnson were to miss time, head coach Monty Williams could turn to forwards Dario Saric or Torrey Craig as replacements, and could also go small with Lee or Josh Okogie. Saric was on the floor with the starters to close out the first half.

Payne is set to be Paul’s backup for the third straight season as the first guard off the bench. This is an area of the depth chart with fewer options. Shamet is already in the rotation as the backup two-guard, and beyond him, there’s just two-way signing Duane Washington Jr. and training camp invite Frank Jackson when it comes to ball-handlers.

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Suns’ Cam Johnson, Cam Payne each injure finger in preseason vs. Lakers