Suns News

Johnson to Get Opportunity in Rotation

Johnson once scored 27 points in an NBA game.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Posted: January 8, 2013

A wise man once said that the one thing constant in life is change. And that assertion can also be applied towards the Suns’ rotation this season.

Suns head coach Alvin Gentry has been constantly tinkering with his lineup in search of the right combination of players this season. The next player to receive an opportunity will be Wesley Johnson.

After appearing in only 14 of 35 games and averaging just 2.6 points a game this season, the Suns swingman found his way into the rotation Sunday. Making his first appearance in the first half of a game since December 9, the 2010 Big East Player of the Year shot 2-of-3 from downtown in nine minutes first-half minutes.

“He deserves an opportunity and that’s the first opportunity that he’s had to play meaningful minutes,” Gentry said. “I do think that we need to take a good look at him. He’s really the only guy on our bench – he and Luke (Zeller) – that really haven’t had an opportunity to play at all.”

A former No. 4 overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, Johnson has been a victim of circumstance at the small forward slot. With Michael Beasley earning the majority of the minutes early on this season and P.J. Tucker and Jared Dudley receiving the rest, there weren’t enough minutes left over at that position for the 6-7 high-flyer.

However, Gentry always told Johnson to stay ready and that his opportunity would come. It appears that it will be on this four-game road trip.

Although it’s been a struggle sitting the bench for the former AP First-Team All-American, Johnson has kept his head up. But his upbeat demeanor wasn’t so much a conscious move as it was a fixture of his easygoing personality.

“I know that positive energy always brings positive things,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to be negative because it rubs off on my teammates. But if I have a positive mindset and a positive aura about myself, it’ll rub off on everybody and everybody will have it.”

Now with this opportunity, hopefully the affect that Johnson’s attitude had on his teammates will be mirrored by his play.

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