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Suns won’t pick up contract option on Wesley Johnson

Delonte West, Wesley Johnson

Phoenix Suns’ Wesley Johnson, left, keeps the ball away from Dallas Mavericks’ Delonte West during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Dallas. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 100-94. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

AP

Wesley Johnson was in a tough situation. He got a chance to play his first two seasons in Minnesota (24.6 minutes per game), but couldn’t do a lot with the opportunity, averaging just under eight points and three rebounds a night.

Coming over to Phoenix as part of the deal that sent Robin Lopez out of town, he’ll get a similar opportunity to produce from the wing off the bench. But given the fact that the Suns didn’t have a whole lot of time to evaluate Johnson in the one month before the season, the team wasn’t willing to commit to him for next year at this early stage.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the details:

The #Suns told Wes Johnson that they won’t pick up a $5.4M option on him for 2013-14 but hope to sign him in July. He said he wants to stay.

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) October 30, 2012


This really does come down to his short time with the Suns organization more than anything else. The team’s President of Basketball Operations, Lon Babby, said as much during a lunch with local media last week, when asked what the plan was with Johnson.

If you look at what the regime of Babby and GM Lance Blanks have tried to do in recent seasons, not tying themselves to questionable long-term deals appears to be the way they prefer to handle business -- even if just for one additional season, as was the case with Johnson.