Brandon Knight says decision to re-sign with Suns was ‘no-brainer’
PHOENIX — Brandon Knight was the last piece of the off-season puzzle to sign a contract with the Phoenix Suns, but the first piece to fall into place.
The restricted free agent guard, who re-upped with the Suns for five years and $70 million, met with the media Monday to talk about his new deal with the team and his decision to remain in Phoenix rather than wait and see what the market offered.
Knight said the Suns made him a fair offer, and that was good enough for him.
"I wasn’t here for long, but once I got here, from Day 1, the organization showed me first class how they do things," Knight said. "I love the guys here, I love the teammates, I love the coaches, I love the city of Phoenix, I love what the organization is doing and what it means to the city. It kind of made my decision to get it done quickly a no-brainer.’
Knight came to Phoenix from Milwaukee in a trade-deadline deal in February but played only 11 games because of an ankle injury. As a restricted free agent, he could have seen what the market would bear and waited out the Suns’ decision on whether to match it, but he wasn’t interested in the market. He was only interested in helping the Suns build a winner.
"It felt good, it felt right; when you have that feeling, you just kind of go with it," Knight said.
His signing enabled general manager Ryan McDonough swoop in on free-agent center Tyson Chandler, who jumped on board soon after Knight’s agreement. Knight, Chandler and Eric Bledsoe then helped with the sales pitch to the team’s top target, forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who instead opted for San Antonio.
"Every step of the way, the theme has been the same," McDonough said. "Sacrifice, unselfishness. I think the most unselfish thing he’s done was by utilizing his cap hold, we were able to do all this other stuff we wanted to do this summer."
Knight’s delay in signing his deal enabled the Suns to have cap space to add forward Mirza Teletovic, guard/forward Sonny Weems and Ronnie Price.
"Brandon committed almost three weeks ago, but he said I’ll wait, whatever is best for the team," McDonough said. "I think it tells you a lot about what kind of person he is, what kind of player he is."
That player is a point guard at heart, but one who’s committed to sharing those duties with Bledsoe in Jeff Hornacek’s twin-point offense.
"I look forward to building my relationship with Eric," Knight said. "Eric is a great player, a great talent. He does a lot of things; I know I can complement him, and he can complement me.
"I have such a great relationship with Eric, it made that decision easy for me. It’s not about who’s on the ball, who’s off the ball, it’s about making the right play."
Though only 23, Knight is a four-year NBA veteran who’s already played for three teams — Detroit, Milwaukee and Phoenix. He’s started at each stop along the way since being drafted by the Pistons with the No. 8 pick in 2011, averaging 15.2 points and 4.5 assists per game while shooting better than 36 percent from three-point range.
McDonough said there was no hesitancy about making a long-term commitment to Knight, despite his limited audition with the Suns following the February trade.
"The that he has four years NBA experience under his belt, the fact that’s played at an extremely high level, the fact that we think his best days, his best basketball is ahead of him, made us very confident that we wanted to commit to him," McDonough said.