Brandon Knight has struggled mightily this season, and his days with the Phoenix Suns could be numbered. He has averaged just 12.5 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting less than 40% from the field. It’s been a very disappointing season for both Knight and the 11-25 Suns, who find themselves in last place in the Western Conference. Despite the subpar season, the 25-year old guard is just one year removed from averaging 19.6 points, 5.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
On the other hand, the Milwaukee Bucks have played well this season. Even with the underrated Khris Middleton out since October, they sit at 18-16 in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Giannis Antetokounmpo is enjoying a breakout season, fully establishing himself as a superstar in the NBA. He has perhaps been the second best player in the East behind LeBron James this year. The expected return of Middleton should be a huge boost for Milwaukee, and pairing him with a player as good as Brandon Knight could potentially make the Bucks legitimate contenders to make the Eastern Conference Finals. Adding a player with the skill set and versatility of Brandon Knight could be the difference for the Bucks come springtime.
The Milwaukee Bucks Should Re-acquire Brandon Knight
Knight Can Play On and Off the Ball
The Giannis Antetokounmpo experiment at point guard has worked out tremendously for both the Greek Freak himself and the team as a whole. That being said, the only typical point guard on the Bucks roster is Matthew Dellavedova, meaning another point guard could be quite helpful. With Antetokounmpo playing both on and off the ball, Knight can do exactly the same. He was never a pure point guard to begin with, so it should be beneficial for him to play both on and off the ball for this Milwaukee team. Plus, sometimes it seems as if Antetokounmpo could use another ball handler out there on the floor with him.
The Bucks Need a Guard Who Can Shoot
Knight can provide a much needed shooting presence for a team that is in the bottom third in the league in both three pointers made and attempted. His knack for scoring and the ability to stretch the floor could open up many more lanes for Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker to attack the lane. Last year, Knight made 2.3 three pointers per game, which is more than any player currently on the Bucks roster is averaging this season.
There are a few players on Milwaukee’s roster that make you scratch your head when you realize how many minutes per game they play. The Bucks’ lack of depth is concerning, especially when you look at the the number of minutes Tony Snell (29.2), Matthew Dellavedova (28.0), Malcolm Brogdon (23.2), and Jason Terry (16.9) have to play. None of those players should be playing more than 20 minutes per game, and in Jason Terry’s case, c’mon now. He should not be a rotation player on a team that has aspirations of going far in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Knight can provide some serious minutes in the backcourt.
Let’s not forget that Brandon Knight played some of the best basketball of his career with the Bucks from 2013 to 2015. He turned into a really above average point guard under the guidance of Jason Kidd, but management ultimately decided to trade him at the deadline before he hit the open market. The Bucks felt he would command too much money for their liking in the free agency. Instead they dished out the money they could have given to Knight to Greg Monroe that summer. Welp. Look at how that decision turned out.
Return Package for Phoenix
What could the Suns get in return? How high is Knight’s value anyways right now considering his poor season? This obviously would play a significant role in Milwaukee’s potential pursuit of Knight. The Bucks could possibly dangle John Henson, allowing Monroe to take over more of the duties at center. Or they could do the exact opposite, putting Monroe on the market in a potential three team deal that would bring young pieces back to Phoenix. Would the Bucks trade Rashad Vaughn, their first round pick from two years ago? Would they consider giving up their first round pick in the 2017 draft? They would have to be creative, as there is no obvious match in terms of what the Suns could expect in exchange for Knight.
There haven’t been any rumors linking Knight to the Bucks, but the fit makes an awful amount of sense. He was very successful in Milwaukee two years ago, the Bucks need shooting, and they could use another ball handler. His value is at the lowest its been in years, which works to Milwaukee’s benefit as long as they are confident he can regain last year’s form.