PHOENIX SUNS

Suns GM: Brandon Knight’s injury ‘could’ve happened to anybody’

Jul 26, 2017, 2:11 PM | Updated: 3:18 pm
Phoenix Suns' Brandon Knight, center, passes between Golden State Warriors' Shaun Livingston, left,...

Phoenix Suns' Brandon Knight, center, passes between Golden State Warriors' Shaun Livingston, left, and David West (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

PHOENIX — Brandon Knight’s torn ACL suffered last Wednesday in a Florida pro-am game likely ends his 2017-18 season before it begins.

In the immediate future, the focus is on getting the swelling in Knight’s knee down before he undergoes surgery, said Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough, who addressed the guard’s injury on Wednesday.

“My understanding of it: he jumped and landed a bit off,” McDonough said, adding Knight’s knee “inverted.”

“It’s unfortunate. He did it playing ball — it could’ve happened to anybody.”

Surgery is likely later this week or earlier next week, and McDonough said the team and Knight had yet to discuss whether he will spend his rehab process in Arizona, Florida or between both places.

In 2016-17, Knight didn’t appear in a game for the Suns after playing 21 minutes against the Lakers on Feb. 15, the team’s final game before the trade deadline. He was asked to play on March 17 when the Suns shut down starting point guard Eric Bledsoe but said he had a sore back that was caused by his heavy workout regiment that was already in offseason mode.

He finished the year averaging 11 points and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the floor. All were career worsts.

After the season, Knight said he could only control what he can control moving forward from a year in which he was demoted and replaced in the lineup by Devin Booker, benched completely for a stretch and reportedly floated in trade talks.

“He was working really hard this offseason and that’s one of the tough parts about it,” McDonough said. “He’d been going pretty hard since March, I think that was. For about four months, he was in a groove, in a good rhythm, his body felt good.”

Having spent most of this offseason in South Florida, where he is from, Knight’s injury will likely not give the Suns any more money to spend on players. McDonough said the team can choose to operate as an under-the-cap or over-the-cap team and will likely opt for the former, which will make the team non-eligible for the Disabled Player Exception it could receive if it chose the latter.

The team can claim insurance re-imbursement if Knight doesn’t play for half the season, McDonough added.

Knight’s injury pushes a resolution to his uncertain future with the Suns into next summer.

The more immediate question is whether Phoenix will find it necessary to make a reactionary move to fill Knight’s role. McDonough is still awaiting word on where center Alex Len’s free agency goes, but the Suns’ roster is nearly full.

They have three bodies at point guard with Bledsoe, Tyler Ulis and Mike James on the roster. At shooting guard where Knight may have earned the most minutes were he healthy, Booker could be backed up by rookie and second-round pick Davon Reed, while wings Derrick Jones Jr. and Josh Jackson could slide over from small forward.

“I feel like we have pretty good guard depth,” McDonough said. “We certainly don’t feel any pressure to rush out and sign another guard — have gotten calls from about 500 agents since the (Knight injury) news broke yesterday.

“We’re getting close to the roster limit and if we do have a need positionally, it’s probably in the frontcourt opposed to the backcourt.”

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at the start of the the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23...
Associated Press

2022-23 NBA schedule clears Election Day of games

The NBA's schedule for the coming season will have all 30 teams playing on Nov. 7, the night before the midterm elections.
15 hours ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns and Dwight Powell #7 of the Dallas Mavericks jump for the ope...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns get rematch vs. Mavericks on opening night, per report

The Phoenix Suns' regular season will begin at home against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 19, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
2 days ago
The Phoenix Suns mascot "The Gorilla" on the court before NBA game against the Golden State Warrior...
Arizona Sports

Report: Phoenix Suns to play Denver Nuggets on Christmas Day

The Phoenix Suns will head to Denver to face the Nuggets on Christmas Day this upcoming season, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported. 
3 days ago
Bill Russell, left, star of the Boston Celtics is congratulated by coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach afte...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA retires No. 6 jerseys, to add jersey patch honoring late Bill Russell

Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey is the first to be retired across the NBA. Players will wear the patch on the shoulders this year.
6 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Confere...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s NBA staff still mighty high on 2022-23 Phoenix Suns

If you were wondering why the Suns have attacked the offseason with tinkering, it might be time to remember the past two full seasons.
7 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
7 days ago
Suns GM: Brandon Knight’s injury ‘could’ve happened to anybody’