Rockets guard Brandon Knight is nearing a return to action, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Knight will join the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate, on a rehab assignment.
It’s not clear whether the Rockets and Knight have a specific date in mind for him to make his NBA season debut, but he’ll suit up for the Vipers on Friday night when they host the Salt Lake City Stars. We previously heard that a December return was possible for the veteran, who will turn 27 on Sunday.
Knight, who tore his ACL last summer and missed the entire 2017/18 season, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since April of 2017. He struggled during his last full season with the Suns, recording a career-low 11.0 PPG on .398/.324/.857 shooting. The former eighth overall pick had averaged 15.9 PPG in his first five NBA seasons.
The Rockets have had some issues with depth lately, but it’s not clear if there will be much a role available for Knight in the Houston backcourt as long as James Harden, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon are all healthy. Still, if he can earn some minutes and show that he’s back to 100% health before February’s trade deadline, he could become an interesting trade chip for the Rockets.
Knight’s contract, which features a $14.63MM cap hit this season and a $15.64MM salary for 2019/20, isn’t exactly team-friendly, but if the Rockets were to attach a draft pick to it in an offer for a wing player, it shouldn’t be unmovable. Kent Bazemore and J.R. Smith could be among Houston’s potential targets.