Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight tore his ACL in his left knee, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, hurting himself July 19 during a pro-am contest. The injury comes on the heels of Knight’s worst statistical season since joining the NBA, as he was pushed to the bench with the emergence of rising star Devin Booker at shooting guard alongside point guard Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt.
“Expect Knight to undergo an ACL repair in that left knee,” The Fantasy Doctors’ Dr. Jesse Morse said. “Knight should be expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season and will not be ready to play for nine to 11 months.”
For the past few years, Knight has been dangled as a trade piece by the Suns, and with Booker slotted in as the shooting guard of the future, the writing was on the wall for Knight prior to the injury. Knight finished last season registering an average of 11.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game in 54 games while also shooting below 40 percent from the field.
The injury comes at a tough time for both Phoenix and Knight. Although Bledsoe has been the bigger piece mentioned surrounding potential rumors regarding a trade for star point guard Kyrie Irving, Knight had been involved in talks most recently with the New York Knicks, who remain unsettled on a starting point guard.
If anything, the move all but guarantees that first-round pick Josh Jackson should see some time at shooting guard as well in combination with Bledsoe or potentially Irving running the show.
For Knight, an opportunity to start at point guard, a position he rarely played with Bledsoe as the primary ball-handler in Phoenix, may have brought back his better days, such as his 2014-15 season with the Milwaukee Bucks, when he averaged 17.8 points, 5.4 assists and more than four boards per game before being surprisingly dealt at the trade deadline.
Most forget that Knight is still only 25. But coming off an ACL tear with a contract far beyond his current worth, Knight’s facing an uphill battle to get back within the NBA’s better graces.