A disappointing 2016-17 season has turned into a truly dreary 2017 offseason with the news that Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee last week and, after surgery, could be sidelined for all of 2017-18.
Knight, 25, suffered the injury while playing basketball near his home in South Florida, according to a Suns news release. The injury was first reported by ESPN.
Knight had enough to overcome before adding an extensive rehab to his to-do list. He turned in the worst of his six NBA seasons in 2016-17, averaging 11.0 points, 2.4 assists and a career-low 21.1 minutes. Knight started just five times in his 54 appearances, shot 32.4 percent from 3-point range and less than 40 percent overall.
The Suns have been mentioned as a possible destination for Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving, who is seeking a trade from the Cavs and specified San Antonio, New York, Miami and Minnesota as his preferred franchises. But Phoenix’s roster is long on young talent, making veteran point guard Eric Bledsoe available for a potential deal. It’s not clear how Knight’s lost season might impact the Suns’ interest in such a trade.
The No. 8 pick by Detroit in the 2011 NBA Draft, Knight has been more of a scorer than a playmaker for the Pistons, the Bucks and the Suns. He averaged 15.9 points and 4.6 assists through his first five seasons before the drop-off last year as he got crowded out in a Phoenix backcourt featuring Bledsoe, Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis.
Knight has three years left on his contract, with a salary of $13.6 million this season and $43.9 million through 2019-20.