Pacific Notes: C. Johnson, D. Lee, Kuminga, Vezenkov

Suns forward Cameron Johnson, who is recovering from knee surgery and has been out since November 4, has played some 1-on-1 but isn’t yet taking contract, head coach Monty Williams said on Wednesday (Twitter video link via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic).

While Johnson has a few more hurdles to clear before he’s ready to get back onto the court for the Suns, general manager James Jones indicated on Wednesday that the 26-year-old is entering the final stage of his rehab process, according to Kellan Olson of Arizona Sports 98.7.

“He’s in the latter stages of it but as far as a definitive timeline I don’t have anything,” Jones said during a radio appearance on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo. “I do know at some point soon we should get him back. I just can’t tell you if that’s going to be in five days, 10 days, but every day he’s getting closer.”

The banged-up Suns have also been without Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Cameron Payne, and Landry Shamet as of late, so getting Johnson back would provide the team with a huge lift.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Current Suns and former Warriors guard Damion Lee, Stephen Curry‘s brother-in-law, finally got his 2022 championship ring when his team played in Golden State on Tuesday. Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic takes an in-depth look at what was a memorable day for Lee, who helped upset his old team by going 14-for-14 from the free throw line and scoring a season-high 22 points.
  • With Jonathan Kuminga getting close to returning from a right foot sprain that has kept him out of action since December 30, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he’ll welcome the “physicality and athleticism” the second-year forward brings to the lineup. “I thought last game against Phoenix (on Tuesday) we were not physical enough,” Kerr said, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. “Phoenix came in and really took it to us. They were physical, they were aggressive on the boards.”
  • In an interview with BasketNews, Kings draft-and-stash prospect Sasha Vezenkov clarified that the extension he recently signed with Olympiacos in Greece doesn’t rule out the possibility of him making a move to the NBA this summer or in a future season, since the deal includes a buyout estimated to be worth $1.5MM. “Before the contract and after the contract, I’m in the same position,” Vezenkov said.
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