Suns ownership situation a factor in Cam Johnson extension negotiations
Cam Johnson is in the long term plans for the Phoenix Suns, despite the two sides failing to agree on a contract extension before Monday’s deadline.
Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo such and that there was mutual interest to get a deal done.
Jones and Johnson had to negotiate with uncertainty as to who will own the Suns going forward, which the general manager said was a factor in their talks but not the be-all and end-all.
“It’s one of the factors, it’s not the overriding factor, but you look at it and say, ‘What does the next ownership group look like?'” Jones explained. “‘Which direction will they want to go? Are we at a different stratosphere? Are we continuing to build internally? Are we going to add something externally?’
“… You talk about committing to a franchise long term, I believe that’s exciting for him. So it was a factor. It didn’t prevent us from doing anything. But it’s definitely something that that we both talked about and he thought about.”
Johnson told reporters Tuesday that negotiating with the Suns’ current ownership situation in the wake of the Robert Sarver investigation was “extremely interesting,” and he is excited for the next opportunity. He stated that he loves playing in Phoenix.
Jones said he had the green light to make a financial commitment to the 26-year-old, but he noted that Johnson is very confident in his worth and the two sides simply didn’t agree on the numbers.
“We could have agreed and we would have been able to sign him and get him locked down with us for a while, but it didn’t happen and we’ll look towards next summer,” Jones said.
Instead, Johnson will be a restricted free agent after the season, which tips off Wednesday for Phoenix.
The fourth-year wing is set up for a bigger role in 2022-23 as a starter with Jae Crowder away from the team, giving Johnson the opportunity to further prove his value to the franchise that drafted him.
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