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Rumor: Suns’ Tyler Johnson could be available in trade if he opts into contract for 2019-20

Tyler Johnson, Suns

The Phoenix Suns could potentially use point guard Tyler Johnson as a trade chip if he opts into the last season of his contract for the 2019-20 season, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

The organization has no definitive point guard as of now, and Johnson’s second-half of the 2018-19 season did little to prove he was the backcourt partner the Suns have arduously looked to get for star Devin Booker.

Johnson could make a beefy $19.2 million in the last year of his bottom-heavy four-year, $50 million deal — a contract he’s unlikely to muster at this point as a free agent with so much competition in the pool of available talent.

His best choice would be to pick up his option and play out this next season, hoping he can prove himself valuable — either as a member of the Suns or elsewhere, and become a target asset to continue his NBA career. Opting out would only result in a team buying him for scraps, once cap space has been depleted and use in the cornucopia of All-Star-caliber talent available in free agency.

If the Suns choose to trade him, it would put the search for a point guard at full steam, potentially risking to start the season with Booker as the primary playmaker, once again.

Phoenix has struggled to find the right partner for Booker since Eric Bledsoe was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, going through the likes of Mike James, Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Canaan, Elfrid Payton, Shaquille Harrison, Elie Okobo, and De’Anthony Melton with no success whatsoever.