In terms of total acquisition cost, the two players in whom Suns GM Ryan McDonough invested most of his professional capital were Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.
In a complicated string of moves before and since, with assets traded upon assets, the acquisition of Knight and Chriss have come quite literally at the price of Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris and Bogdan Bogdanovic (not to mention Miles Plumlee, Tyler Ennis, Skal Labissiere and Papa Johns).
Confused on the Dragic part? That’s the cost of Brandon Knight, in a nutshell.
The Goran Dragic picks (#16 this year and the unprotected #1 in 2021) were neatly packaged this summer to re-acquire that very lightly protected Lakers pick (this year’s #10 overall) that was used to acquire Knight at the trade deadline in 2015.
So, the trade was essentially Goran Dragic out, Brandon Knight in. The Suns shipped out a guy who was third-team All-NBA and league’s Most Improved Player just a year before. A guy who later made the All-Star team, and has played 246 games in 3+ years for the Heat, plus a pair of playoff runs..
Whereas Knight has been healthy for just 117 games in that same timeframe.
And you wonder why maybe McDonough isn’t jumping toward his next “all in” effort?
But let’s not dwell today.
Let’s celebrate the very best of Brandon Knight’s time with the Phoenix Suns, because there WERE some good times.
The best of B-Knight
Since he missed the last half of 2016-17 and ALL of 2017-18, we have to go back to early in the 2015-16 season for some real highlights.
In 56 games in 2015-16, Knight posted career highs of 19.6 points and 17.2 shot attempts per game as the starting shooting guard next to Eric Bledsoe, while also dishing 5.1 assists and grabbing 3.9 rebounds.
In 56 games that season, Knight posted:
- two games of 10+ rebounds
- three games of 2+ blocks
- four games of 10+ assists
- six games of 3+ steals
- 17 games of 3+ three-pointers (including THREE separate games of 7 threes)
- 25 games of 20+ points (including FIVE at 30+ points)
Watch some of the best of Brandon as a Phoenix Sun.
Knight is definitely a super-talented player and I wish him the best in Houston playing behind a paid of likely Hall of Famers in Chris Paul and James Harden.
I hope he embraces a role like Jamal Crawford and Lou Williams have embraced over the years, as a microwave Sixth Man off the bench that can carry a second unit while the starters are resting.