The Chicago Bulls are not expected to remain quiet as the countdown to the NBA trade deadline draws near. NBA trade chatter already had the Bulls interested in acquiring Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers, now comes word that another player has caught their attention.
According to Basketball Insiders, the Phoenix Suns are looking to unload combo guard Brandon Knight before the NBA trade deadline. It is rumored that the Chicago Bulls are one of the teams in the running for Brandon Knight’s services. As it has been reported, the Bulls join the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia Sixers, and Sacramento Kings as teams jockeying for a trade.
Brandon Knight wants a new home, but the Suns set the price too high in the past w/ Magic, Kings, Sixers, Bulls. We'll see if that changes
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 23, 2017
The reported asking price (courtesy of Arizona Sports) for Knight is expected to be reasonable — an expiring contract and a high second round pick. That is a far cry from the original asking price, which was likely a first round pick and a player.
Follow on the Brandon Knight front: I'm told the present-day asking price from the Suns is an expiring contract and a high second rounder
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 23, 2017
The Phoenix Suns are likely looking to get anything of substance after acquiring (according to NBA.com) Brandon Knight two years ago in a trade at the 2015 deadline. In the three-team deal, the Suns added Knight from the Milwaukee Bucks.
Chicago Bulls have previously expressed interest in Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight. (Source: Sam Amick) pic.twitter.com/25BfasDHQs
— Chicago Bulls Rumors (@chicagobullsbot) February 23, 2017
The Philadelphia Sixers were also part of the deal by shipping guard Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee. If and when Knight gets moved, it will signal that neither team will have kept any of the players involved in the trade. The other players involved were Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee, who went to the Bucks, and Kendall Marshall, who went to the Sixers. As of now, every player is now with another team. Marshall is currently not in the NBA.
Brandon Knight is in desperate need of a fresh start after struggling for a season and a half with the Phoenix Suns. The Chicago Bulls are one of the few teams that can grant Knight a new beginning, while offering the Suns what they are seeking.
To engage the Suns in trade talks the Bulls are all but assured to be offering Rajon Rondo’s contract. Financially a swap of Rondo for Knight is a perfect fit. Rondo’s $14 million salary slotted into the $12.6 million that Knight carries would be seamless in the Suns’ salary structure. The Suns could buy Rajon Rondo out or let him play out the remainder of the season, entering into next year with only $3 million guaranteed.
If Rajon Rondo was playing anywhere close to his prime years, it would be an even trade for the Bulls and Suns. Brandon Knight has struggled mightily, and that has affected his trade value. That being said, it would behoove the Suns to seek out a draft pick as a guarantee of getting something of substance in return.
For the Chicago Bulls, it remains to be seen if Brandon Knight is a fit. As for the alleged prototypical player, the Bulls are searching for younger and more athletic Knight is ideal. There are questions that beg for answers.
Can Brandon Knight be a good enough three-point shooter to be effective in the Chicago Bulls’ offense? Knight has made 35 percent of his shots from long distance, which is good, yet not great. His handle does not suggest that he is a player who is good at finding a spot on the perimeter to shoot. Perhaps a change of scenery will help him out. The Chicago Bulls would love to find out.
Is Brandon Knight quick enough to play with pace? Yes, but he may not be much of an upgrade over current Bulls’ starter Jerian Grant. That presents the conundrum.
Acquiring Brandon Knight may not cost the Chicago Bulls a bunch, but if it does not work out, they may be stuck with a middling player making $13 million. In the end, it is worth it for the Bulls to take a chance as long as it does not cost more than Rajon Rondo and a second round pick.
The time is ticking on the NBA trade clock, and a not a lot of deals have been made. If the Chicago Bulls can acquire Brandon Knight from the Phoenix Suns for spare parts, it will be interesting to see how it works out. Perhaps the Bulls are due to strike lightning in a bottle.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]