Suns Rumors

Cameron Johnson Makes Progress; Chris Paul Still Sidelined

  • Suns forward Cameron Johnson is celebrating his progress as he works to return from a meniscus tear in his right knee, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I jumped on it and I was shooting (on Wednesday),” said Johnson, who is projected to miss one to two months. “And I did more cardio and I was able to kind of let rip on the bike and get my heart rate up. When we go from playing every day, we’re sweating and running, that’s cardio. After surgery, it’s a little limited with those options. To be able to get back, work up a sweat and get my heart rate up and explore some new movements post-surgery, it’s my win for (Wednesday).”
  • Even coach Monty Williams can’t fully explain why Chris Paul remains unavailable, Rankin states in a separate story. Paul missed his ninth straight game tonight for the West-leading Suns. “My YouTube degree doesn’t go into medical,” Williams told reporters. “I just wait for them to tell me he can play. We’re just not there yet. I don’t have anything to add to that. If he was able to play, they’d be like, he’s ready to go. He’s just not there yet.”

Suns’ Landry Shamet Expected To Return After Seven-Game Absence

Suns guard Landry Shamet has missed seven consecutive games while in the NBA’s concussion protocols, but he has officially been upgraded from questionable to probable for Saturday’s game against Utah (Twitter link via Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports).

Shamet told Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic that he expects to play on Saturday. He also detailed his recovery process and symptoms, among other topics.

I feel a lot better,” he said. “You know, trusting our medical staff, they’ve been great. Concussions are weird. I don’t know, they just are. Sometimes you don’t really know what your feeling or what you’re supposed to feel, so really just communicating with them, trusting them. They’ve been great taking the lead and I feel really, really good, progressing back and I’m excited to get back going here (Saturday) hopefully.”

The 25-year-old said that he had another concussion in college, but this one was very different because the symptoms were delayed after initially just experiencing neck tightness. He said the worst came when the team traveled to Orlando earlier this month.

We landed in Orlando − my siblings, Jacksonville’s home to them, so they came to visit me, one of my sisters, and that was when I felt like really bad,” Shamet said. “It was also the hurricane, so we flew into a hurricane, and with a concussion that’s just awesome (smiles). When we got to dinner, I couldn’t focus, the light, sounds, whatever, every time I stood up, I felt like Bambi, felt like I was gonna fall out. So that’s when it got like, ‘OK, this is kinda scary.’ I don’t throw up. I got really nauseous and threw up a couple times. A lot of that stuff I don’t take lightly. That’s what got me to be like, ‘This isn’t just a little headache I had.’”

The former 26th overall pick is in the first year of a four-year, $42.5MM rookie scale extension that he signed prior to last season. Only the first two years are guaranteed (at $19.75MM), so he could realistically become a free agent as early as 2024.

Unfortunately, although Shamet is on the verge of a return, 12-time All-Star Chris Paul continues to be hampered by right heel soreness and has been ruled out for tonight’s game, according to Bourguet. Saturday marks his ninth straight absence for the 12-6 Suns, the No. 1 seed in the West.

Chris Paul, Landry Shamet Full Participants At Practice

  • Chris Paul and Landry Shamet were full participants in a non-contact practice today, Suns coach Monty Williams tells Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Paul is trying to return from a heel injury, while Shamet has been in concussion protocols.

Fischer’s Latest: Bey, Suns, K. Martin, Collins, J. Holiday

Team personnel around the NBA are keeping an eye on Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says Detroit has received some calls from clubs inquiring about the third-year pro.

Bey has been considered part of the Pistons’ core since being selected 19th overall in the 2020 draft. However, his production has dipped so far this season and he was recently moved to a reserve role for one game before an Isaiah Stewart injury reopened a spot for him in the starting five. That brief demotion represented the first time Bey had come off the bench since the first half of his rookie season.

Still, while the Pistons may be more amenable to listening to inquiries on Bey than they have been in the past, Fischer says the team still seems intent on further evaluating the former first-round pick before seriously considering the idea of making him available.

Here are a few more notes from Fischer’s latest rumor round-up, which also included items on the Jazz and Clippers:

  • The Suns‘ interest in Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., first reported by Shams Charania last week, has resulted in Houston getting involved in some three-team Jae Crowder trade discussions, Fischer reports. Sources also confirm to Yahoo Sports that the Bucks have tried to use Grayson Allen to acquire Crowder, but Phoenix and Milwaukee have yet to find common ground on a straight-up deal.
  • There was “true momentum” toward a trade this past offseason that would have sent Hawks big man John Collins to the Kings, and the Wizards showed real interest in Collins prior to last season’s trade deadline, writes Fischer. However, Sacramento was happy to make a deal with Atlanta for Kevin Huerter instead, while Washington ended up landing Kristaps Porzingis to fortify its frontcourt. Fischer doesn’t say it outright, but the implication is that neither team is still pursuing Collins at this time.
  • Fischer echoes a John Gambadoro report stating that the Suns aren’t interested in acquiring Collins, largely due to the long-term money still left on his contract (he’s in the second season of a five-year, $125MM deal). And Phoenix may not be the only team that feels that way — Collins’ contract could complicate the Hawks‘ efforts to find a trade partner, according to Fischer, who suggests that the deal is “perceived to be above market value.”
  • Hawks wing Justin Holiday is worth monitoring as a possible trade candidate, per Fischer, especially if AJ Griffin continues to solidify a role in Atlanta’s regular rotation.

Lakers’ Beverley Likely To Face NBA Discipline After Shoving Suns’ Ayton

With just under four minutes remaining in the Suns‘ win over the Lakers on Tuesday night, Lakers guard Patrick Beverley and Suns center Deandre Ayton were involved in an on-court altercation that resulted in technical fouls for both players and an ejection for Beverley.

Following a Devin Booker foul on Austin Reaves that was ultimately ruled a Flagrant 1, Ayton grabbed the ball and stood over Reaves, who was down on the floor. Beverley shoved Ayton from behind, knocking him to the court and resulting in a brief skirmish between Lakers and Suns players (YouTube video link)

As Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes, Beverley explained to reporters after the game that he was looking out for his backcourt partner.

“Got a person on the ground, two people looking over mean-mugging and puffing their chest out and referees don’t get into it to kind of separate it, control the game, so I’m going to stand up for my teammate,” Beverley said. “… Obviously, it’s unfortunate that it happened on national TV. But you know me: Regardless of what’s going on, I’m a big fan of protecting my teammates. … I’m a foxhole guy. I put on the jersey, and I commit to a team, I commit to a city, and it’s kind of my motto.”

Beverley received postgame support from head coach Darvin Ham and several teammates, including Reaves himself, who said he told Beverley “four or five times” that he appreciated him. Ham acknowledged that Beverley will likely face NBA discipline for the incident, but said he wasn’t upset about his point guard’s reaction.

“Pat Bev, you don’t want just to be a tough man competition; you actually want to play tough basketball. But at the end of the day, I’m not mad at him,” Ham said, per McMenamin. “He’s there protecting his teammate, and I’m sure he’ll probably go through some type of consequence for that.”

At the very least, Beverley seems likely to be facing a fine of up to $50K for his actions. Chris Mannix of and Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter links) were among the reporters to suggest that a suspension isn’t out of the question, particularly since Beverley has a history of on-court chippiness.

Suns head coach Monty Williams told reporters during his postgame media session that “the league needs to take a look at those kinds of plays,” referring to them as “silly” and “unnecessary,” while Booker alluded to Beverley’s reputation in an on-court interview with TNT’s Chris Haynes after the game.

“Pat needs to stop pushing people in the back, man,” Booker said (video link). “Push them in the chest. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Neither the Lakers nor the Suns are back in action until Friday, so the NBA may decide to take a little time to determine what sort of penalty might be appropriate for Beverley and possibly other players involved in the altercation. Although the Lakers guard didn’t regret standing up for a teammate, he said he could have taken another approach to confronting Ayton and is bracing for some kind of league discipline.

“Very unprofessional by myself. Definitely could have reacted in a different way,” Beverley said, according to McMenamin. “So, yeah, I’m a big boy. I’ll take my lumps however they come.”

Craig, Payne Step Up In Starting Roles

  • Torrey Craig and Cameron Payne have been thrust into the Suns’ starting lineup due to injuries to Cameron Johnson and Chris Paul, respectively, and they’ve been quite productive, Gerald Bourguet of notes. Craig is averaging 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the last four games, while Payne is averaging 19.3 points, 6.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds through the last seven games. “We’re lucky to have the depth that we have,” Paul said.

Bogdan Bogdanovic On Suns’ Radar

Bogdan Bogdanovic is a potential trade target for the Suns, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who reports that the Hawks swingman is among the players on Phoenix’s radar.

Bogdanovic could be part of the return if the Suns and Hawks were to make a deal involving forward Jae Crowder, who has reportedly drawn interest from Atlanta. John Collins has been mentioned as another possible target in a Crowder trade between the Suns and the Hawks, but there have been conflicting reports on whether Phoenix has real interest in Collins, due at least in part to his pricey long-term contract.

Collins is owed $23.5MM this season, with two guaranteed years beyond this one and a $26.58MM player option for 2025/26. Bogdanovic has an $18MM cap hit this season and an $18MM player option for 2023/24.

As O’Connor writes, Bogdanovic “checks a lot of boxes as a shooter, ball handler, and rock-solid defender.” However, he has yet to play at all this season after undergoing knee surgery in May, and it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to make his season debut.

This is the second time we’ve heard Bogdanovic linked to the Suns. Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports first brought up the possibility during the preseason, writing that front office personnel had speculated about the possibility of a Crowder/Landry Shamet package in exchange for Bogdanovic.

A source told Fischer at the time that Shamet wasn’t part of the Suns’ discussions with the Hawks, but Phoenix would have to add at least one player to Crowder ($10.18MM cap hit) in order to match salaries. Dario Saric ($9.24MM) and Torrey Craig ($5.12MM) are among the Suns’ other possible trade candidates, as O’Connor notes.

Final Offer To Johnson: $66 Million

A report this week stated the Suns, who are looking to deal Jae Crowder, were interested in Barnes. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

  • Chris Paul sat out again on Sunday and the Suns point guard will be reevaluated during the coming week, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports tweets. Paul hasn’t played since November 7 due to a heel injury.
  • The Suns’ final offer to Cameron Johnson in preseason rookie scale extension negotiations was for four years in the range of $66MM, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.  Phoenix refused to go higher to sign Johnson, who is currently sidelined for one or two months after undergoing surgery to remove part of his right meniscus. A previous report stated the Suns’ offer was in the range of $66-72MM. He’ll be a restricted free agent after the season.

Hawks Talking John Collins Trades; Suns, Jazz Interested?

7:00pm: The Jazz have also shown recent interest in Collins, Charania said in an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link).

3:06pm: John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 disputes Charania’s claim that the Suns are a potential suitor for Collins, tweeting that Phoenix doesn’t have interest in the veteran forward.

Gambadoro adds (via Twitter) that the Suns and Kings had a discussion about Barnes over the summer, but with Sacramento playing well and Mike Brown a fan of the veteran forward, the Kings don’t intend to move Barnes.

10:09am: Hawks big man John Collins, who has been the subject of trade rumors multiple times in recent years, is considered available once again this season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Charania, the Hawks have opened “preliminary” trade talks involving Collins, with the Suns among the teams showing interest in the 25-year-old. Sources tell The Athletic that a Collins trade doesn’t appear imminent, and Charania cites executives who believe it could take weeks or months for the Hawks to find a deal they like — if they move him at all.

Collins was considered a trade candidate during the year leading up to his restricted free agency in 2021, but signed a five-year, $125MM contract to remain in Atlanta. That deal did little to quiet the trade rumors surrounding him though — those rumors popped up again at the 2022 trade deadline and during this past offseason, prompting Hawks general manager Landry Fields to tell reporters on Media Day in September that Collins was “still here for a reason.”

In 15 games so far this season, Collins has struggled to produce consistently. His average of 12.6 points per game is his lowest since his rookie year, and his .493 FG% is a career-worst mark, as is his .227 3PT%. Still, given his track record, the power forward should bounce back and will be an intriguing trade target for any team looking to acquire an impact frontcourt player.

As Charania notes, the Hawks have been one of the primary suitors for Suns forward Jae Crowder and have been engaged with Phoenix in trade talks in recent weeks, so it’s plausible the two teams could come together for a bigger deal involving both Crowder and Collins.

In order to match Collins’ salary, Phoenix would have to include at least one more mid-level type contract besides Crowder’s expiring deal. Dario Saric ($9.24MM expiring contract) and Landry Shamet ($9.5MM in 2022/23, plus $21.25MM across two more guaranteed years) would be the top candidates.

However, the Suns may be averse to the idea of taking on Collins’ long-term contract, according to Charania. He’s owed $23.5MM in 2022/23 and nearly $52MM in the following two seasons, with a $26.6MM player option for ’25/26. With the Suns facing a possible ownership change, it’s unclear how comfortable they are adding more big long-term financial commitments to their books.

In addition to Collins, the Suns have expressed interests in forwards such as Harrison Barnes of the Kings, Kyle Kuzma of the Wizards, and Kenyon Martin Jr. of the Rockets, sources tell Charania. Phoenix has also reportedly engaged in Crowder-related trade talks with the Bucks, with one report suggesting Milwaukee is the frontrunner to land the veteran forward.

Central Notes: Crowder, Bucks, Lopez, Cavs, Duren, Bulls

After reporting earlier in the week that the Suns appeared to be making real progress on trading Jae Crowder – perhaps in a three-team scenario – Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports was hesitant to offer many specific details in the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast on Thursday, noting that he has yet to confirm the exact framework of the deals Phoenix is discussing. However, Fischer was able to identify a presumed frontrunner for Crowder.

“The only other thing I really feel comfortable sharing and confident sharing is that people around the situation have said that Milwaukee is the most likely team to land him,” Fischer said. “I can say that.”

As Fischer notes, he reported last week that the Bucks – who have long been identified as a possible suitor for Crowder – were gauging Grayson Allen‘s trade value around the league. So if Milwaukee does make a deal for Crowder, it seems likely that Allen would be an outgoing piece, either to Phoenix or to a third team.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After missing most of last season due to a back injury, Bucks center Brook Lopez is healthy and making a significant impact on the defensive end this season, according to Nekias Duncan of, who argues that the big man should be in the early Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Lopez is on an expiring contract and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
  • Logan Murdock of The Ringer takes a look at the Cavaliers‘ recent slump and their efforts to become a title contender without LeBron James for the first time in the 21st century. “I think for all of us, everyone is preaching championship,” Cavs wing Caris LeVert told Murdock. “I’ve been around a lot of teams, and it’s a long season. A lot of things happen within the season. So I think for us, just staying focused on the day-to-day, getting the most of each day, trying to maximize our potential each and every day will take care of all the rest of the stuff.”
  • Pistons center Jalen Duren is the NBA’s youngest player and the only one who was born after LeBron James made his NBA debut in 2003, but his teammates and coaches have been impressed with his maturity, writes Jamal Collier of “He don’t feel 18. He’s not built like he’s 18,” Isaiah Stewart said of Duren, who turns 19 on Friday. “He’s built like a grown man. He’s very mature for his age.”
  • In a pair of stories for The Chicago Sun-Times, Joe Cowley considers what’s next for the enigmatic Coby White once he gets healthy and wonders if some lineup changes are in store for the struggling Bulls.