"Feast your eyes Wesley son, this too shall all be yours"

We all know about the trade and we've read all about what Wesley Johnson has (or hasn't) done and his potential. Yesterday at noon the whole situation was made official as the Phoenix Suns held yet another press conference to welcome a new face to the Valley. First it was Goran, then Beasley, Scola, Brown came back and now Wesley Johnson is happy to be back in the heat (He's from Texas) and excited for an opportunity to start anew.

The press conference was short and to the point and lasted all of about 12 minutes. Babby introduced Johnson as a great addition to the team because of his athleticism but spent some time also talking about his his character and how instead of meeting Babby for dinner upon arrival in Phoenix Monday night, he instead elected to go on a date with his (wife? Girlfriend? Baby's momma?) since they haven't been able to spend too much time together alone since the birth of their twins (Santana & Wesley) a few months ago.

Blanks took the mic and echoed Babby's thoughts and mentioned how since this transaction the Suns have stopped receiving calls from agents about beefing up their wing position.

Blanks also dropped a bit of insight as he mentioned that Wes played as a big in the front-court in high school and that he was still learning and developing as a perimeter player with regards to ball-handling and shooting. Take that for what it's worth since Johnson is now 5+ years removed from his high school playing days.

When Johnson spoke he explained that he was very excited, "When I first heard I was a Phoenix Sun, it put a huge smile on my face - bigger than what it is right now". Watching him sit there you can tell that he was truly overjoyed to be in a new place, with a new team and with a clean slate.

The floor was opened for questions and Bob Young of the Arizona Republic brought the point up that Johnson was a 'late bloomer' in college and really did well when he transferred schools from Iowa St. to Syracuse. He asked if Johnson felt like this was a similar situation. Johnson replied very quickly in agreement and said in college he felt like he was in a place that wasn't really a good fit until he went to Syracuse and felt like he was in "paradise". He also mentioned how he talks a lot with his family and his brother even brought that point up to him saying, "It's like history is rewriting it's self", Johnson then said - "I plan on having that success here".

When asked about why he feels he's a good fit in Phoenix, again without hesitation Wes gushed, "The syle of play it fits me well". I think it's every athletic player's dream to play in a Phoenix Suns style offense where the pace is up and down, fast, free flowing and where unselfishness is really a reality. I wouldn't have expected Johnson to answer the question any other way.

There were some other questions about how athletic he thought he was and what he likes most about Phoenix but nothing else of much importance. You can head over to the Suns website and catch video of the conference if you like.

His athleticism really is something I look forward to watching though. I read your comments about how much of a bust he is and how he's the worstever.com and how only his smile is good but I don't buy into that at all. Sometimes the statistics don't show the whole story.

It seems almost cliche now to compare any bad or under-performing player with potential who comes to Phoenix to Channing Frye and how his situation worked out coming from Portland (look at his stats.. prior then post arrival). Doing so makes a lot of people roll their eyes. Yet Channing Frye had the build and and the potential and that's something that both Wesley Johnson and Michael Beasley have coming to Phoenix this year. We're talking about top 5 picks in the draft. Top 5 scouted because of their talent and potential.

Don't be so quick to numb your emotions and invest nothing in the possibilities that both Johnson and Beasley could do special things here in Phoenix.

Wesley Johnson even knows what it means to be a Phoenix, he said about his opportunities playing in the Suns' sytem and with his new teammates,

"It's like a rebirth, a new beginning for me"

PHOENIX — Two years into his NBA career, Wesley Johnson is a certifiable draft bust. Johnson followed up a weak rookie campaign in which he averaged nine points on 39.7 percent shooting by...

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Could Hassan Whiteside be the right back-up center for Phoenix?

The Suns have almost completed their likely roster heading into next season with the 12 players currently under contract:

PG: Goran Dragic, Sebastian Telfair, Kendall Marshall

SG: Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley

SF: Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, P.J. Tucker

PF: Luis Scola, Markieff Morris

C: Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye

However, the Suns are still thin at the center position, especially with Frye still rehabbing from a successful surgery he underwent in May to help repair a dislocated shoulder injury he suffered toward the end of last season.

Not only that, but the minimum number of players an NBA team can have on their roster is 13, so it only makes sense that the Suns add another center.

So who are the likely candidates for the Suns to choose from? Continue reading after the jump for a look at who's still out there.

The Suns still have around $7 million in cap space at their disposal, but that doesn't mean they want to spend it. In fact, they are looking to spend as little as possible so they can remain flexible enough to take on a player at the trade deadline this season and/or sign a blue chip free agent next season.

The current list of available centers include: Solomon Alabi, Tony Battie, Eddy Curry, Erick Dampier, DeSagana Diop, Kyrylo Fesenko, Darko Milicic, Jermaine O'Neal, Greg Oden, Mehmet Okur, Daniel Orton, Joel Przybilla, and Hassan Whiteside.

Since the Suns are officially in rebuilding mode, adding an older vet to play minutes behind Gortat doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. Instead, the Suns would probably be better off looking for a young backup center who could still develop and won't cost much money. For this reason I am going to focus on the three youngest, low risk/high reward players on the list who I believe would make the most sense for the Suns; Kyrylo Fesenko, Greg Oden, and Hassan Whiteside.

  • Kyrylo Fesenko, 25, 7-foot-1 280 lbs:


- Big and strong center who provides great post presence and decent rebounding

- Very good defender

- Can contribute and help Suns immediately


- Not athletic, doesn't run the floor well

- Foul prone

- Offensively limited, poor FT shooter

Fesenko's Basic Stats:

Fesenko's Per 36 Stats:


I believe Fesenko is the safest bet for a back-up center among the young players still available. Fesenko would provide the Suns with a big body inside and help solidify the post defense for the second unit. However, he is not a great up-tempo player and is very raw offensively. He is a 41% career free throw shooter and also has trouble finishing even at the rim. Still, I believe Fesenko could still be a legit back-up for the Suns because of his size, defense and rebounding.

  • Greg Oden, 24, 7-foot 285 lbs


- Very strong, skilled center

- Great rebounder

- Athletic, mobile


- Extremely injury prone in the knees: Had two micro-fracture surgeries on left knee and one on the right, also had surgery to repair a broken left kneecap (only played a total of 82 games since being drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2008)

- Huge gamble (see above)

Oden's Basic Stats:

Oden's Per 36 Stats:


If you're a believer in the magic of Aaron Nelson and are also a gambler at heart, then Greg Oden is your man. There's no question Oden is the most talented center available, but talent doesn't mean much when you're never healthy enough to play. Still, Greg Oden recently had the same platelet-rich plasma procedure done on his knee that Kobe Bryant had done (with success) last off-season; so if the Suns believe he is now healthy enough to play, and that Nelson and his staff of YUMS (young unorthodox medical staff *credit Shaq*) can keep Oden off the injury report, he could be the steal of free agency.

  • Hassan Whiteside, 23, 7-foot 235 lbs


- Tremendously long with a 7-foot-7 wingspan

- Excellent shot blocker

- Nice athleticism, runs the floor well


- Very, very raw offensively

- Terrible free throw shooter

- Not very strong, still needs to add some size

Whiteside's Basic Stats

Whiteside's Per 36 Stats


Other than Greg Oden (and without the injuries), Whiteside has the most potential of any center still on the market. He's the youngest, longest, most athletic of the group ... but at the same time he is also the most raw. Whiteside was waived by the Kings last week after playing only 18 games in his two year career. He has all the physical tools to be a very good back-up center for the Suns, but will he ever develop into anything more than just a player with unrealized potential?

Remember, we're not talking world-beaters, all-stars, or even starters here. The Suns are already set with Gortat firmly established in the starting line-up. These are all candidates to get between 10-15 minutes per night as a back-up, or maybe not play at all if they end up being 3rd on the depth chart behind Frye. The Suns need depth, and not much more.

I believe any of these three players could be a viable option for the Suns' back-up center position for different reasons. It just depends on what the Suns are looking for, and also what kind of deal they can get. The only other option the Suns have is to wait until training camp and see if any other young players stand out on the other teams and pick one up if they happen to become available. That seems like a pretty risky gamble though, so I think the Suns will choose to address the back-up position sooner than later. So who will it be?

Who do you want the Suns to sign as their back-up center for the 2012-13 season?

  1006 votes | Results

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