PHOENIX SUNS

Fox Sports: Knight picked to win Sixth Man, Booker honorable mention as most improved

Oct 22, 2016, 12:29 PM | Updated: 12:34 pm
Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (3) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9), ...

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (3) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9), of Spain, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Monday, March 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

The Phoenix Suns tip off the regular-season Oct. 26 against the Sacramento Kings, and predictions surrounding the team continue to roll forward.

The latest one, by Fox Sports’ Andrew Lynch, has point guard Brandon Knight securing the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Suns coach Earl Watson is talking up Knight as a Sixth Man candidate after making it clear the point guard will come off the bench this year, and I’m buying the hype.

Knight hasn’t had a particularly healthy stint with the Suns, since the team acquired the guard from the Milwaukee Bucks near the end of the 2014-15 season. The 24-year-old suffered a left ankle sprain and sore heel after coming to Phoenix, and only played in 11 games in 2015.

He was on pace for a bounce-back season the following year, but was hindered by a sports hernia for most of the year. Knight averaged 19.6 points and 5.1 assists in 52 games.

With the emergence of Devin Booker, who many NBA general managers have pegged to have a breakout year, Knight was pushed from the starting lineup. The move to the bench could benefit Knight in different areas other than his play-making performance.

Since becoming a member of the Suns, Knight has dealt with six injuries, not including an illness he suffered from in Jan. 2016. If having Knight come off the bench, it can limit his minutes and allow Knight to potentially remain healthy for the entire season.

Among the honorable mentions for the award were yearly favorite Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Enes Kanter.

Speaking of Booker, Lynch listed the 19-year-old as an honorable mention for the Most Improved Player behind Los Angeles Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell and Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams.

Russell and Adams might see an increase in their touches with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant retiring and Kevin Durant heading to the Golden State Warriors, but Booker will also see a more prominent role with Knight going to the bench.

Booker averaged 13.8 points and 2.6 assists per game last season, but averaged 19.6 points in five preseason games. Granted, it’s only preseason, but the way Booker performed in the preseason and how the team used him will closely resemble how the Suns will look like when the games count for real.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

A Summer league logo is shown on center court during a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the...
Kellan Olson

Suns enter Summer League with another experienced, older roster

For the second straight year, the Phoenix Suns are approaching NBA Summer League unlike any other team.
1 day ago
Ish Wainright #12 and Frank Kaminsky #8 of the Phoenix Suns react during the second half of the NBA...
Arizona Sports

Suns announce Summer League roster headlined by Ish Wainright

The Phoenix Suns released their 18-man Summer League 2022 minicamp roster Sunday evening which includes wing Ish Wainright.
3 days ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns cheers from the bench during the second half of Game Five of ...
Haboob Blog

Suns’ Mikal Bridges shows no chill, dunks on kid at his basketball camp

No one is safe from getting dunked on by Suns forward Mikal Bridges. Even kids attending his own basketball camp.
3 days ago
Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game against the Houston Rockets at Target...
Jake Anderson

Josh Okogie agrees to 1-year deal with Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent wing Josh Okogie, the team announced Tuesday.
1 day ago
Jock Landale #34 of the San Antonio Spurs drives against Willy Hernangomez #9 of the New Orleans Pe...
Jake Anderson

Report: Phoenix Suns trading for Atlanta Hawks center Jock Landale

The Phoenix Suns are trading for Atlanta Hawks center Jock Landale, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
4 days ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round ...
Alex Weiner

The Athletic’s Hollinger: Suns trade for Kevin Durant likely needs 3rd team

NBA analyst John Hollinger devised five Kevin Durant trades, and the Phoenix Suns option became one of the more complex.
3 days ago
Fox Sports: Knight picked to win Sixth Man, Booker honorable mention as most improved