12:28pm: The signing is official, the team announced. It’ll cover three games, against the Jazz, Thunder and Warriors, the only ones Phoenix has left until the All-Star break, and expire before the February 18th trade deadline.
7:57am: The Suns will sign former Pacers and Kings shooting guard Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The two-year NBA veteran has been playing for much of this season with the Spurs affiliate in the D-League. He’s poised to go into the open spot on Phoenix’s roster and add depth on the wing to compensate for the loss of T.J. Warren, who suffered a season-ending broken foot.
Johnson, 26, averaged 4.0 points in 12.1 minutes per game with 38.3% shooting from behind the arc as a rookie in 2012/13 for the Pacers, who had acquired him via trade shortly after the Kings drafted him 36th overall in 2012. His minutes fell the next season and the Pacers waived him at the trade deadline in 2014 to accommodate their deal for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. He resurfaced on a pair of 10-day contracts with the Kings later that season but has been out of the NBA ever since, though it appeared the Pelicans were considering him last month.
The former UC Santa Barbara player spent the last year and a half playing in Spain, the Philippines and the D-League. He’s averaging 15.2 points in 31.4 minutes per game and hitting 3-pointers at a scintillating 48.6% clip for the D-League Austin Spurs this season. He was slated to take part in the D-League All-Star Game and 3-point shooting contest, but he’ll be ineligible to participate in either if he indeed joins the Suns.
Phoenix already has Jordan McRae on a 10-day contract, as only 13 Suns have deals that run through at least the end of the season. The Suns are reportedly a strong bet to make at least one trade before the February 18th trade deadline, so they have plenty of flexibility to do so. Johnson’s contract would lapse and leave an open roster spot for the trade deadline as long as Phoenix signs him by the end of Monday.