Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson has surgery, expected to return in 1 to 2 months

By R.L. Bynum

Cameron Johnson had surgery Tuesday to remove part of his right meniscus and is expected to be out for one to two months, according to ESPN.

Johnson tore his right meniscus in Friday’s home loss to Portland when he tried to plant his right leg while trying to change directions. The news is a bit of a relief, considering more extensive surgery could have ended his season.

“One of the options was that he could’ve had a repair and that would’ve been a longer timeline for sure,” Phoenix coach Monty Williams said. “So, we’re grateful it wasn’t worse. We’re grateful he got great care, and we’re not sure when he’s going to come back, but we’re grateful for the outcome.”

Johnson missed five weeks of his junior season at Carolina after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. His season debut for the 2017–18 season didn’t come until the Dec. 20 home loss to Wofford when he scored 10 points.

His brother Puff missed UNC’s opening-game win against UNCW on Monday night with a sore knee.

Cam Johnson had shoulder surgery in 2015 that ended his season at Pittsburgh in late January.

“We think he’ll be back for sure,” Williams said. “I’ve heard timelines, but we’re not quite sure when it’s going to happen. We know we won’t put him on the floor until he’s 100% ready to go.”

In his third NBA season but first as a starter, Cam Johnson averaged 13.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in eight games, shooting 44.6% from the floor and 43.1% from 3-point range. His best game was on Nov. 1 when he scored 29 points and seven 3-pointers in Phoenix’s 116–107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Johnson could not negotiate a long-term contract extension with Phoenix before the season and is in the final season of his rookie contract.


In addition to Johnson, Cole Anthony and Coby White also missed their teams’ Monday games. Anthony missed his sixth consecutive Orlando game with a right internal oblique injury. White missed his fifth straight Chicago game with a left quadriceps contusion.

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The good news for Tony Bradley is that he played for the first time in eight games in the Bulls’ 111–97 home win over Toronto. The bad news is that he was only in for 14 seconds and pulled down one rebound.


Walker Kessler came close to a double-double with eight points, nine rebounds and two blocks in Utah’s 139–116 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers. It was his fifth multiple-blocks game for the 9–3 Jazz, which leads the Western Conference.


Nassir Little scored six points in seven minutes with a pair of 3-pointers in Portland’s 110–107 victory at Miami.


Both Reggie Bullock and Harrison Barnes started and went scoreless.

Bullock missed all five shots, three from 3-point range, and had two steals in a 96–94 home win for Dallas against Brooklyn. For the seventh consecutive game and the eighth time this season for the 6–3 Mavericks, Theo Pinson didn’t play (coach’s decision).

Day’Ron Sharpe played for the third time in the last seven games for the  4–7 Nets, but for only six seconds.

Barnes missed all four shots, three of them 3-point attempts, and had three rebounds and a steal in Sacramento’s 116–113 loss at Golden State. Barnes went scoreless only once last season, missing all five shots in a 126–97 home loss to Boston on March 18.

For the fourth consecutive game and the eighth time this season for 7–3 Boston, Justin Jackson didn’t play (coach’s decision) as the Celtics won at Memphis 109–106.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

Age 22 | 6–3, 185 | third NBA season | UNC 2019–20 (1 season)

134–127 Monday loss vs. Houston — Anthony is out indefinitely with a right internal oblique injury and missed his sixth consecutive game
Season statistics — 4 games, 15.5 points, 41.5 FG%, 35.0 3P%, 73.4 FT%, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 turnovers, 1.0 steal
Next games — 5:30 p.m. Wednesday vs. Dallas; 7 p.m. Friday vs. Phoenix
———————————————

Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

Age 30 | 6–8, 225 | 11th NBA season | UNC 2010–12 (2 seasons)

116–113 Monday loss at Golden State — Started; 22 minutes, 0 points, 0–4 FG, 0–3 3FG, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, -10, -2.5 game score
Season statistics — 9 games, 9.9 points, 36.8 FG%, 5 of 30 3FG, 80.0 FT%, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists
Next games 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Cleveland; 10:30 Friday at Los Angeles Lakers
———————————————

Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

Age 24 | 6–10, 248 | sixth NBA season | UNC 2016–17 (1 season)

111–97 Monday win vs. Toronto — 14 seconds, 1 rebound, 0.3 game score
Season statistics —
3 games, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 1.3 rebounds
Next games 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. New Orleans; 8 p.m. Sunday vs. Denver
———————————————

Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

Age 31 | 6–6, 205 | 10th NBA season | UNC 2010–13 (3 seasons)

96–94 Monday win vs. Brooklyn — Started; 22 minutes, 0 points, 0–5 FG, 0–3 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 fouls, -18, -1.3 game score
Season statistics 9 games, 5.3 points, 30.8 FG%, 31.7 3P%, 60.0 FT%, 2.8 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Next games 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Orlando; 7 p.m. Thursday at Washington
———————————————

Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

Age 27 | 6–8, 220| sixth NBA season | UNC 2014–17 (3 seasons)

109–106 Monday win at Memphis — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 2 games, 6 points, 2–5 FG, 2–5 3FG
Next games — 7:30 Wednesday vs. Detroit; 7:30 Friday vs. Denver, NBATV
———————————————

Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns power forward

Age 26 | 6–8, 210 | fourth NBA season | UNC 2017–19 (2 seasons)

100–88 Monday loss at Philadelphia — Missed second consecutive game with a right meniscus tear, had surgery Tuesday
Season statistics 8 games, 13.0 points, 44.6 FG%, 43.1 3P%, 72.7 FT%, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Next games 8 p.m. Wednesday at Minnesota; 7 p.m. Friday at Orlando
———————————————

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

Age 21 | 7–0, 245 | rookie NBA season | UNC 2020–21 (1 season)

139–116 Monday win vs. Los Angeles Lakers — 18 minutes, 8 points, 4–6 FG, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 4 fouls, +8, 9.8 game score
Season statistics 9 games, 5.4 points, 69.0 FG, 60.0 FT, 4.9 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist, 1.6 blocks
Next games 7:30 Wednesday at Atlanta; 6 p.m. Saturday at Washington
———————————————

Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers small forward

Age 22 | 6–5, 220 | fourth NBA season | UNC 2018–19 (1 season)

110–107 Monday win at Miami — 7 minutes, 6 points, 2–3 FG, 2–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 1 rebound, 1 foul, -7, 4.6 game score
Season statistics 10 games, 6.2 points, 51.1 FG%, 45.8 3P%, 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Next games 7 p.m. Wednesday at Charlotte, Bally Sports Southeast; 8 p.m. Thursday at New Orleans
———————————————

Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

Age 27 | 6–5, 212 | fifth NBA season | UNC 2014–18 (4 seasons)

96–94 Monday win vs. Brooklyn Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics (1 game) — 7 minutes, 2 points, 2–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, +8, 3.3 game score
Next games 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Orlando; 7 p.m. Thursday at Washington
———————————————

Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

Age 21 | 6–9, 265 | second NBA season | UNC 2020–21 (1 season)

96–94 Monday loss at Dallas — 6 seconds, no statistics, plus/minus of 0, 0.0 game score
Season statistics 7 games, 2.9 points, 42.1 FG%, 0–1 3P, 3.6 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Next games 7:30 Wednesday vs. New York, ESPN; 4 p.m. Saturday at Los Angeles Clippers
———————————————

Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

Age 22 | 6–4, 195 | fourth NBA season| UNC 2018–19 (1 season)

111–97 Monday win vs. Toronto Missed his fifth consecutive game with a left quadriceps contusion
Season statistics 7 games, 8.1 points, 38.2 FG%, 29.4 3P%, 1.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Next games 8:45 Monday vs. Toronto; 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. New Orleans
———————————————
Out while recovering from surgery
Memphis forward Danny Green will miss most of the season after surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee suffered in May.
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Get an explanation of the game score metric here.

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