The LA Clippers need to strongly consider Tyler Johnson

LA Clippers Phoenix Suns (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LA Clippers Phoenix Suns (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Now that he has been waived by the Phoenix Suns, the LA Clippers should explore adding Tyler Johnson to a ten-day contract.

Tyler Johnson has been officially waived by the Phoenix Suns. Your first thought when reading that sentence is probably, “Wow. How bad must he be?” Well, this season he’s not great. Still, the LA Clippers should consider signing him to a ten-day contract to evaluate him in person.

It’s just a ten-day deal, right? Let’s be frank. Tyler Johnson has not done anything to impress this season and completely fell out of the Suns’ rotation prior to being waived. He’s also dealing with knee soreness which has kept him out of contests.

On the year, he is putting up just 5.7 points on 38% shooting. His three-ball isn’t falling, converting on just 28.9% of his 2.7 attempts from deep. Passing? Meh. He’s at just 1.6 assists. Rebounding? Equally meh at 1.7 per game. Why would we even consider him?

Perhaps he just needs a change of scenery. Last season, Johnson looked decent for both the Suns and the Heat. He was a double-digit scorer at 10.9 points per game and shot much better from the floor. He also was a solid playmaker despite being a combo guard and pulled down three rebounds per game. He did this all in 26.8 minutes, while not great, isn’t the worst.

Johnson’s biggest added advantage would be his size. Standing 6’3″, he could come off the bench alongside Lou Williams and take the bigger guard matchup defensively. Johnson wouldn’t get as many shots playing alongside Lou, Landry Shamet, and Montrezl Harrell so he would need to convert when given the chance. Since he’s a combo guard, he would work well next to Lou as both a playmaker and scorer, the former being a need for the team’s second unit.

No, he’s not going to be as much of a true guard as someone like Reggie Jackson could be but still does offer some playmaking ability.

He was a key piece for last year’s Suns, playing mostly point guard as the team had no other suitable replacement. If he is able to replicate that performance, the Clippers would be getting a decent bench piece.

Here’s the thing: Johnson probably won’t crack the playoff rotation. The way the team is currently constructed, we will likely run an 8-9 man rotation. For a regular-season guy though, Johnson could at least provide some more stability on the bench. For a ten-day deal, the Clippers could evaluate him and see if he does bring something to the roster.

Next. Potential buyout targets. dark

With no timetable yet on Patrick Beverley‘s return, signing Johnson to a ten-day contract after All-Star break might be a wise move. The team could get him some run while Beverley rests and would get a feel for just what he can add.