Community Shootaround: Brandon Knight

It was less than two years ago that the Suns sent Miles Plumlee and a first-round pick out as part of a three-team trade that netted them Brandon Knight. Phoenix signed Knight to a lucrative extension in the summer of 2015, and he seemed poised to become a huge part of the team’s future, but as we approach 2017, Knight’s place in the Suns’ long-term plan doesn’t look quite as clear.

The emergence of 2015 first-rounder Devin Booker has made the Suns reevaluate the roles of Knight and Eric Bledsoe, both now and going forward. Booker certainly isn’t going anywhere, and an October report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe suggested the team doesn’t want to move Bledsoe either, which leaves Knight as a potential odd man out. A strong start this season would have helped create a palatable trade market for Knight if the Suns wanted to deal him, Lowe wrote at the time.

Twelve games into the season though, that strong start hasn’t materialized. It’s still very early, but so far, Knight has posted career-worst marks in PPG (12.8), FG% (.377), 3PT% (.286), and APG (3.2), signaling that the transition to a bench role hasn’t been a smooth one. Still, in an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7FM, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said his club won’t rush into any major roster changes, and isn’t considering trading the veteran guard at this point.

We’re certainly not looking to move Brandon, we haven’t been close to trading Brandon,” McDonough said. “I think he’d love to be starting, we understand that. He’s accepted the role very well. I think you guys will see him go on a run here. As you know, watching him play the last couple years, he has the ability to get hot and put up a lot of points in a hurry and take over stretches of games — he hasn’t done that yet for us consistently but I think it’s coming.”

The Suns loaded up on young frontcourt talent in this year’s draft, using a pair of top-eight picks to snag Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss, but most of the team’s notable current contributors are guards or wings — Booker, Bledsoe, Knight, and small forward T.J. Warren are Phoenix’s top four scorers, with shooting guard Jared Dudley tied for fifth. If the Suns were to consider trading Knight, they could target a big man, or perhaps a shooter. A future draft pick or two would likely also appeal to the Suns, who aren’t necessarily looking to contend immediately.

Still, there’s no rush to move Knight. As McDonough notes, the 24-year-old is streaky and his stock isn’t particularly high at this point. He’s also under contract through 2019/2020, meaning the Suns can be patient and assess how their pieces all fit together as Booker, Warren, and the young bigs continue to develop.

What do you think? Should the Suns be looking to move Knight before this year’s deadline to address other areas of need, or to add future picks? Or should they wait things out, knowing that they could still trade Knight a year or two from now if their areas of need become more obvious by that point? Jump into the comments section and weigh in with your thoughts!

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8 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Brandon Knight

  1. As the Suns currently sit, there is no reason to rush to trade Knight. If the right deal comes along for a PF or C though, trading Knight and/or Tyson Chandler makes a whole lot of sense. The Suns are not going to contend this year, but with the players they have, their window will be coming. A guy like Okafor, Embiid, and Noel could make some sense for Knight. Maybe one of Denver’s young centers. Maybe a team like Chicago or New York bites on Knight thinking he can get them over the hump. There are a lot of ways to go, which means that the Suns should sit tight and wait for the right trade.

    • Embiid/Okafor is laughable. A trade involving Nerlens Noel makes much more sense. It also comes down to finding a 3rd team that wants Chandler and if he actually wants to play somewhere else.

      Suns get – Nerlens, Illyasova
      Sixers get – Knight, Amier Johnson
      Celtics get – Chandler

  2. Embid isnt going anywhere.
    Suns dont need eliyasova and getting noel will only delay progress of young guys Chriss and bender.
    Celtics should not move johnson with his low contract and dont need chandler with horford on the roster.
    A trade for knight should get future assets such as draft picks or youngs that could be bench guys.
    I see this starting five as the one to run with for some time now eccept changes in center position and perhaps pg ( sf is prety locked for warren who is exhibiting a great year).
    I would try to trade knight to the pelicans to help them finish over 7th place in this draft (if so pick is ours) with suns projected to finish arround 5th place in the draft… having another top 10 pick could prove significant to trades etc.
    Getting either jackson smith or fultz in the draft would be huge success… and not to forget getting something for knight as well… perhaps next years draft pick of pelicans.
    There are many places to trade knight to… wizards for pick, sixers for pick or assets… probably pick is better… bucks… etc.
    Will have to wait and see…

    • Recordhigh

      I wouldn’t be surprised at all Joe disappointed if PHX moves BK back to MKE for Monroe. That’s only IF the Bucks don’t pull the trigger on the Brandon Ingram and Louis Williams for Moose. It would work out great for both PHX and MKE if we could get Moose and then dump Chandler if the right deal comes along. Brooklyn could get in on this to eat a contract or 2 and get a compensatory draft pick.


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