The Suns quit on their season months ago.
Now, Brandon Knight – who had played relatively hard through Phoenix’s misery – is more formally calling it a year.
Knight and the team made a collaborative decision to have him sit out the remainder of the season and get a second opinion this week on his sports hernia. Missing the past two games and the remaining five games puts Knight on an earlier timetable if it is determined that surgery is needed.
The Suns won’t miss Knight these last few games, because they’re better off losing and improving lottery position. Phoenix is only one game worse than the Nets for the No. 3 seed in the lottery.
Knight had an alright year, both showing the Suns gave up too much to trade for him (a top-three-protected Lakers first-round pick) and the Bucks sort of miss him. Knight’s shooting ability and decent ball-handling would look pretty good next to point Giannis Antetokounmpo right now.
Phoenix can’t afford to dwell on the trade, which could still work out. The immediate concern: How do Eric Bledsoe and Knight (who already had coexistence issues) and Devin Booker fit together? The guards are young enough to delay answering the question a little bit, but if the Suns wanted to be proactive, Knight’s injury makes it harder. Teams might be reluctant to deal for him if he’s coming off surgery.
I don’t know whether Knight is a long-term fit in Phoenix, but this injury makes it more likely he begins next season with the Suns.