Suns forward Cam Johnson (right knee) set to return against Nets


Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson (right knee) is set to make his return on Thursday versus the Brooklyn Nets, per sources. Johnson underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, following a 108-106 loss against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 4.

Now, the fourth-year wing is listed as probable on the injury report. Through eight starts this season, Johnson is averaging career highs of 13 points, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals. In addition to logging 3.4 rebounds per game, the 26-year-old is shooting 44.6% from the floor and a career-best 43.1% outside the arc.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Suns have 11th-ranked odds to win the championship. A few sportsbooks are giving the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets better odds.

On Nov. 1, in the Suns’ 116-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the forward scored a season-high 29 points in 34 minutes of action. John ended his performance shooting 10-of-17 (58.8%) from the field and 7-of-11 (63.6%) beyond the arc.

“It puts a lot of things in perspective,” Johnson said after Wednesday’s practice. “Just a blessing to have this as my job, to have the group around me to help me get back to where I need to be. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back on the court.”

Suns forward Cam Johnson (right knee) to return against Nets on Thursday, Devin Booker (left groin) remains out indefinitely

Suns coach Monty Williams is expected to have Johnson on a minutes restriction when he returns. “He’ll have a limited role, but he’ll be back on the floor,” said the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year. “He’s had a really good few weeks. We feel like we’ve checked every box possible. It’d be a good time to get him back.”

Besides Cam Johnson listed, Devin Booker (left groin), Cameron Payne (right foot), and Jae Crowder (personal) are on the Suns’ injury report. All three players remain out indefinitely. Chris Paul (hip) and Josh Okogie (nose) are questionable.

As for Brooklyn, Kevin Durant (right knee) remains out indefinitely. Durant’s MCL sprain will be re-evaluated next week. He could return to the court 3-4 weeks from now. And Kyrie Irving (right calf) was upgraded to probable.

Leading into Thursday night’s non-conference matchup, both teams are on three-game losing streaks. The Nets have won six of their last 10 games, whereas the Suns are 1-9 in their past 10 contests.

Furthermore, the Nets are 10-4 in their previous 14 meetings versus Phoenix. Though, Brooklyn is 3-7 in its last 10 head-to-head contests against Pacific Division opponents. To add to these betting trends, the Suns are winless in their past eight games versus Eastern Conference teams.

Based on ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Suns have a 51.2% chance of defeating Brooklyn at home. Sportsbooks have not yet released the betting lines for this interconference contest.

Bear in mind, the Nets are 14-9 away, 22-9 as favorites, 5-7 as underdogs, and 27-16 overall. Phoenix is 14-7 at home, 16-11 as a favorite, 4-13 as an underdog, and 21-24 overall.