Suns waive Keon Johnson, Bol Bol makes opening night roster

Oct 23, 2023, 2:22 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm

Keon Johnson...

Keon Johnson #45 of the Phoenix Suns drives against Jabari Walker #34 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the third quarter of the the preseason game at Moda Center on October 12, 2023 in Portland, Oregon. The Phoenix Suns won 122-111. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns officially waived 21-year-old guard Keon Johnson Monday to chop their roster to 15 players ahead of the regular season cut deadline.

Barring additional moves, the cut finalizes the Suns’ opening night roster for Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors.

It means that big man Bol Bol and injured Damion Lee (meniscus injury) appear to have made the team.

Johnson came to Phoenix from the Trail Blazers on Sept. 27 as part of the Damian Lillard blockbuster that shipped Suns center Deandre Ayton to Portland. Phoenix also acquired former Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, wing Nassir Little and former Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen in the trade.

Johnson, the 21st overall pick in 2021, has appeared in 77 NBA games between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland, averaging 5.9 points and 1.8 assists on 36% shooting in 14.5 minutes per game.

He found himself behind combo guards Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, plus defensive-focused perimeter players Josh Okogie and Jordan Goodwin. That group of players will fight for minutes behind the All-Star duo of Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

The Ayton trade bumped the Suns’ roster to 17 players on standard contracts to go with the two-way deals of Saben Lee and Udoka Azubuike. Two-way contracts do not count to the 15-man roster maximum for regular-season play.

With the first of two necessary cuts, Phoenix on Thursday released Ish Wainright, who did not appear in the preseason and was dealing with a calf injury.


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