The New York Knicks reportedly inquired about Phoenix Suns point guard Brandon Knight. Here are five reasons they should stay away.
The New York Knicks currently have the weakest point guard rotation in the NBA. Ron Baker should be playing shooting guard, and despite the ridiculous expectations of some Knicks fans, we have no idea what rookie Frank Ntilikina is. The team should be looking for a veteran point guard to help out the youngsters mentioned above. However, Brandon Knight isn’t that guy.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, the Phoenix Suns point guard came up in conversation along with his superior teammate Eric Bledsoe. Begley states it’s “reasonable to assume” that Knight was part of trade discussions for Carmelo Anthony due to his sizable contract.
Knight would be an upgrade over what New York already has, but trading for him would be a mistake. Yes, he’s just 25-years-old and fits the youth movement the team is going for, but there’s more to dislike than to like.
Here are five reasons the Knicks shouldn’t trade for Brandon Knight.
1. His Contract
After that horrific Tim Hardaway Jr. move, the Knicks shouldn’t be looking to take on another long-term deal. Especially one where the player makes a guaranteed $44 million over the next three seasons.
New York already has nearly 34 percent of their cap in 2017-18 tied up in Hardaway and Joakim Noah. A trade for Jennings (assuming Anthony’s involvement) means the trio would make up nearly 48 percent of the cap.
With Hardaway, Noah, and Jennings all signed long-term that’s close to half of your dough locked up in three guys who aren’t difference makers.
When a team is rebuilding, as the Knicks are, they should want as much cap flexibility as possible.
2. Injury History
Knight played all 66 games as a rookie season in the lockout shortened season of 2011-12 and played 70-plus in his second and third seasons. He’s caught the injury bug over the span of the last three.
The former Detroit Piston has missed 77 games in the past three seasons, and he hasn’t hit the 60 game mark once.
If New York wants a point guard with injury problems, they can bring back Derrick Rose.
3. Cheaper Alternatives
Speaking of the former MVP, he’s still available for the Knicks. Rose isn’t the only option, however. According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, the Knicks are also looking at Charlotte Hornets lead guard Ramon Sessions.
New York has many veterans to choose from in free agency as well. None of them may be as good as Knight, but they’re not going to tie up the cap as he will.
The Knicks will need to work quickly if they want Rose or Rajon Rondo, though.
Ty Lawson is a tempting option. He started 24 games in 2016-17 and had a nice bounce-back season in Sacramento.
4. His Inefficiency
Knight’s erratic shooting would drive Knicks fans crazy.
He is a career 41.5 percent shooter from the field and 35.7 percent from three-point range. According to Basketball-Reference, he’s just 36.3 percent for his career on two-point attempts longer than 16 feet from the rim.
Knight’s not exactly careful with the ball in his hands either. The former Milwaukee Buck has career averages of 4.3 assists per game and 2.7 turnovers.
5. His Defense
The Knicks were a horrendous defensive team last season. They finished 26th in defensive rating and 26th in defensive turnover percentage.
Starting point guard Derrick Rose was a big part of those struggles and Knight would only compound the issue.
In six seasons in the league, Knight has never posted a positive defensive box plus-minus. In 2016-17, he was 79th out of 83 point guards in defensive real plus-minus.
The guy has trouble on defense. So does Ron Baker and Frank Ntilikina is a rookie. All rookies struggle on defense. Knight’s just not the best fit.