The Suns discussed a rookie scale extension with Cameron Johnson that would have been worth about $66-72MM over four years, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said on his latest podcast. Scotto points out that those figures are in line with recent contracts for shooters such as Davis Bertans, Joe Harris and Duncan Robinson, but there’s a belief that Johnson can earn more considering the expected rise in the salary cap and his role on a contending team.
Johnson was off to a great start, averaging 13.0 points per game and shooting 43.1% from three-point range, before undergoing meniscus surgery that could sideline him for up to two months. Scotto notes that Phoenix gave Mikal Bridges a four-year, $90MM extension and cites league sources who have told him the team doesn’t want to approach that number to keep Johnson.
On the same podcast, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype said Johnson will be in demand as a restricted free agent, even if he doesn’t make a full recovery during the season. He notes that Collin Sexton received $72MM over four years after missing nearly an entire season with a meniscus tear and suggests that Johnson will get at least that much. Gozlan adds that Johnson is much easier to trade without an extension and wonders if that was the Suns’ plan all along.
The duo discussed several other players who are headed to restricted free agency:
- The Hornets were offering P.J. Washington a four-year extension in the $50-52MM range, but he’s hoping for an annual salary closer to $20MM, sources tell Scotto. Washington has become a full-time starter with the loss of Miles Bridges and is averaging a career-high 14.6 points and 1.1 blocks per game. Gozlan believes Washington made the right decision, noting that the mid-level exception will soon be in the range of Charlotte’s offer.
- The Celtics never offered Grant Williams more than $50MM in guaranteed money over four seasons, according to Scotto, who adds that Williams would have accepted a deal that paid him at least $14MM a year. Williams’ hot start puts him in line for a much bigger contract, and some sources tell Scotto he’ll get an offer starting in the $18MM range, which might be too high for Boston to match.
- The Knicks didn’t have serious extension talks with Cam Reddish, but he has a chance to change his outlook after moving into the starting lineup, Scotto notes. Gozlan expects Reddish to get full MLE offers next summer if he keeps producing.
- Coby White has become a trade candidate for the Bulls, NBA executives tell Scotto. White’s production continues to fall and he doesn’t appear to have a future in Chicago’s backcourt.