CHICAGO (AP) Brandon Knight is ready to suit up for the Phoenix Suns.
Coach Jeff Hornacek said the newly acquired guard is coming off the bench against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
”It’s unfair sometimes to just throw those guys out there when they don’t even know what you’re doing,” he said. ”We’ll get him in quickly.”
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The 23-year-old Knight was leading the Bucks in scoring and was a catalyst behind Milwaukee’s turnaround before Phoenix acquired him in a major overhaul Thursday at the trade deadline. That came after the Suns’ hand was forced by Goran Dragic insisting he would sign elsewhere in the offseason.
Phoenix dealt Dragic and brother Zoran to Miami; Isaiah Thomas to Boston; and Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee to Milwaukee. Besides Knight, the Suns got Marcus Thornton from Boston.
Knight and Thornton joined the team Saturday after missing Friday night’s loss at Minnesota. The Suns also signed center Earl Barron to a 10-day contract.
Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich (illness) was out.
Knight has already made a good impression on Hornacek. The Suns staff spent extra time with the new players after the team meeting Saturday morning.
”The one thing you’ve got to love about a player is a guy who wants to be prepared, looks like he studies the game,” Hornacek said. ”I saw it today. When you hand out the (scouting) sheets … you kind of glance around and you see guys look at them, but you don’t know how much they’re really looking at them. I’m watching him and he’s studying the plays that are in there. He’s going over it, really focusing. That’s great to know that you have a player like that that’s going to be so focused on what the other team’s doing.”
Hornacek also said the Suns were surprised by the bad ending with Dragic, who on Wednesday told reporters that he no longer trusted management and was leaving after the season.
”When he went to All-Star break and sat with his agent or whatever he did, all of a sudden it seemed a different tone,” Hornacek said.