Is Philadelphia Brandon Knight’s Ultimate Destination?

Nov 23, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (11) pounds his chest after hitting a 3 point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. The Suns won 92-87. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 23, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (11) pounds his chest after hitting a 3 point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. The Suns won 92-87. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

For months Suns fans have speculated on where Brandon Knight would ultimately be traded.

It is one thing for Suns fans to speculate, it’s entirely another for the fans of other teams to call for their home team to trade for him.

That is exactly what happened on Valley of the Suns’ sister-page The Sixer Sense.

Site Editor for the blog, Josh Wilson, sees the Philadelphia 76ers as a good fit for Brandon Knight believing that a combo guard of Knight’s stature playing alongside Ben Simmons would be a solid fit, noting:

Knight is a decent passer himself, which may take away a bit from Simmons’ facilitating, but overall he is decent scorer, and could take advantage of Simmons’ court vision just as much as any other player who has a knack for scoring.

In return, he view’s the Suns acquiring Nerlens Noel, a player who has generally fallen out of the rotation for the 76ers playing behind Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. Noel is an excellent defender, and while he isn’t a great scorer, could take the place of Tyson Chandler in the future, whether he is traded, or in two years when his contract runs out. Regardless, the addition of Noel would cause a glut in the Suns’ front-court (not a bad problem to have) but would also give Phoenix an easier time in making a decision on re-signing Alex Len this off-season when he seems destined to receive fairly high contract offers.

Should the Suns decide to keep Noel and let Len walk – or visa vera – the team will have at least cleared up Knight’s cap space to allow for the re-signing of either/or, and still retain significant cap space to go after a bigger fish.

Additional Trade Rumors for Brandon Knight

Roje Smith, a FanSided Contributor, has discussed the possibilities of Brandon Knight’s move from Phoenix twice over the past few days. Today however, he broke down five potential destinations: Philadelphia (a very popular destination), New Orleans, Chicago, Dallas, and the current hot spot – Sacramento.

(To read his entire article and for the rationale behind each trade, click here)

From a Suns fan’s perspective, let’s quickly discuss exactly what Phoenix would get back in return in each of these scenarios:

Jan 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel (4) and center Jahlil Okafor (8) react after a score against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers

Like Josh Wilson of Sixer Sense before him, Roje believes that Philadelphia would be a perfect destination. And like Wilson, he believes that Noel would be a good piece to get back, although he offers who I have mentioned in the past as the best possible return from Philadelphia, Jahlil Okafor.

Whether the Suns get Noel or Okafor, Phoenix would then have options on the table in their front court moving forward that they currently do not have: Trade Tyson Chandler and re-sign both Alex Len and the former-Sixer, or keep Chandler, and either attempt to move Len this season as well, or let him walk in the off-season and resign Noel, or Okafor when the time comes.

A combination of Noel and Len can be a daunting one in terms of rim protection and board crashing…As for Okafor, since post scoring is a need in Phoenix, he immediately resolves that issue and is still improving as a player.

Potential Trade Grade = A-

Nov 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (right) steals the ball from Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Pelicans defeated the Suns 120-114. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans

A trade to New Orleans could bring back Tyreke Evans or Jrue Holiday, with the implication that they are both free-agents this off-season, freeing up cap space should the Suns prefer to go that rout.

Evans has a bit on an injury history, something the Suns might not want to touch – at least long-term – especially with the injury history to Eric Bledsoe already. In the unfortunate event that those two players were injured for a longer period at the same time, the Suns would be in a heap-load of trouble. Granted this is a risk that is always a possibility, and the Suns have a world-renowned training staff, but for a franchise looking to not only build for the future but hopefully start winning soon, that might be a big risk.

Jrue Holiday is basically Eric Bledsoe statistically. He has had higher assist numbers in the past than Bledsoe, but they have sunk back down to about where Eric is today. So, a trade of Knight for Holiday would seem to be redundant, especially with the knowledge that there is a good chance that about four of the top-five picks in this summer’s draft will be point guards, and Phoenix currently sits in the top-five.

If the Suns can get a player in return for Knight that is going to expire soon, I think the preference would be an veteran coupled and a draft pick, vs. younger players and no draft pick who are likely going to let walk.

Potential Trade Grade = C

Nov 18, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Doug McDermott (3) drives the ball against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Bulls won 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls

Roje looks to Chicago for an answer in the wake of the recent benching of Rajon Rondo. In need of a point guard that the Bulls can count on in the waning minutes of a game, he feels that Brandon Knight might be a good fit.

In return the oft-mentioned Taj Gibson is a possibility, although he also says that the Suns might request a younger player in either Jerian Grant or Doug McDermott.

If the Suns received Taj, one would assume that he would immediately jump into the starting lineup, although with this being a contract year, he may be kept on the bench as a rental and let go in the off-season.

To me, neither of the young players in either Jerian Grant nor Doug McDermott move the meter a whole lot, especially since neither would be starters, even on the talent-depleted Suns. If I could have a pick, I would choose McDermott as he could backup both Devin Booker and T.J. Warren, and thus would be the number one option in a move with Chicago.

Potential Trade Grade = B-

Oct 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) against the Phoenix Suns in the season opener at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks

While I can see why the Mavericks are on this list from the Mavs’ perspective, there is nothing on their roster that I could see the Suns really wanting.

Unless somehow Dwight Powell is Hassan Whiteside part deux, I do not really see a future with him on the Suns should they acquire him, so the trade would be a dud from a Phoenix perspective.

Additionally, the Suns could potentially trade for Wesley Matthews, and he is currently a more consistent and solid scorer than Devin Booker, but he is also ten years older, and his contract sits between $17.1M and $18.6M over the next three years according to basketball-reference. There is no chance that the Suns bench Booker for Matthews, and there is no reason to have Matthews on the roster making that much when the Suns will need to pull the trigger on extending Booker in a couple of years.

Nothing with Dallas makes sense for Knight unless they want to give up their first round pick, and we all know what Dallas’ answer to that request would be.

Potential Trade Grade = D+

Mar 25, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) smiles with Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) after Booker fouled Cousins on a shot during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings

As with almost every trade scenario in the past, there is no actual ‘rumor’ as to who the Suns might receive in return for Brandon Knight because much like Dallas, there isn’t a whole lot that the Suns would necessarily be interested in outside of DeMarcus Cousins.

In his particular post, Roje does not offer a full trade scenario, though he makes a compelling argument for why the Kings should trade for Knight and goes so far as to say that a third team might need to be involved to make the trade work from Phoenix’s perspective.

If Knight were to be traded to the Kings, as I have already illustrated a couple of possible trade scenarios here between only the two teams, a third team might need to be involved. How complex and to what degree of ‘blockbuster’ might a three-team trade be to get Brandon Knight to Sacramento, I do not know. But I do know, that outside of the Philadelphia trade, this is still the most interesting possibility.

Potential Trade Grade = B

Let us know what you think, Valley of the Suns fans! Do you love any of these trade scenarios? Do you have any that you would like the Suns to try to work out?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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