Tyler Johnson Talks Role With Suns, Goals This Season

Tyler Johnson is expected to be Phoenix’s sixth man this season, providing offense off the bench. The 27-year-old is excited to play that role for the new-look Suns.

“Obviously, you want to be the greatest that you can be for yourself,” Johnson said (via Gina Mizell of The Athletic). “But at the same time, you get so many kids who come up and they think ‘I’m supposed to be the man.’ Well, you’ve got 30 teams in the NBA …

“[Being a sixth man] was where I made my mark and was able to stay in the league and get paid. My thing was, man, you find a niche and you excel in it.”

Johnson credits Jamal Crawford—his teammate for part of last season—as a player who made contributing off the bench a more attractive option.

“I tell [Crawford] he made that role sexy,” Johnson said. “Between him and Lou Will (the Clippers’ Lou Williams), they really transformed what it meant to come off the bench and how it really don’t matter.”

Johnson added that his goal is to be available for all 82 of the Suns’ regular-season games, telling Mizell that his offseason priority was “getting [his] body right.” Injuries have forced Johnson to miss games in each of his five seasons in the league, including 25 in 2018/19. The combo guard is entering the last year of the four-year, $50MM deal he inked back in 2016.

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