In the aftermath of the trade that sent Brandon Knight to the Houston Rockets, the Phoenix Suns are reportedly looking to add a point guard to their lineup ahead of the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.
As noted by Bleacher Report, the Suns and the Rockets completed a trade on Thursday, with Phoenix receiving power forward Ryan Anderson and incoming rookie guard De’Anthony Melton and Houston getting Knight and power forward Marquese Chriss. But with the Suns now lacking true point guards to start alongside Devin Booker, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the team’s management will “continue to pursue trade scenarios to bring on a starting-caliber point guard” before the 2018-19 NBA season kicks off in October.
At the present, the Phoenix Suns’ top returning point guard is incoming second-year player Shaquille Harrison, who signed with the team in February and averaged 6.6 points and 2.4 assists in a reserve role. With Brandon Knight missing the entire 2017-18 season due to an ACL injury, the team mostly started Tyler Ulis at the position, but chose to waive him in June. Elfrid Payton, whom the Suns acquired prior to the 2017-18 trading deadline in a deal with the Orlando Magic, started 19 of 19 games in Phoenix, averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists, but signed with the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this summer after the Suns failed to make him a qualifying offer.
While point guard is reportedly the top priority for the Phoenix Suns in the next month and a half before the new season starts, Wojnarowski noted that Ryan Anderson will likely start at power forward for his new team after gradually losing minutes and transitioning to a bench role with the Houston Rockets as the 2017-18 season progressed. He averaged 9.3 points and five rebounds per game for Houston, and will be competing for minutes against Dragan Bender, who has mostly come off the bench for the Suns since he was picked fourth overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Meanwhile, the trade to Houston could potentially mark a fresh start for Marquese Chriss, who was picked four spots after Bender in 2016 but has also failed to develop as expected, as Wojnarowski pointed out in his recap of the trade on ESPN. Brandon Knight, who started for the Phoenix Suns prior to his ACL injury and has career averages of 15.2 points and 4.3 assists per game, will likely be used in a reserve role in Houston, as he plays behind multiple-time All-Star Chris Paul at point guard.