Brandon Knight tears ACL, expected to miss entire 2017-18 season

Henry Bushnell

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight has torn the ACL in his left knee and is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. Knight reportedly tore the ligament last week during a pro-am game in Miami.

Knight was examined by Suns team doctor Tom Carter, and will undergo surgery to repair the ACL.

In the official announcement, the Suns said a timetable for Knight’s return to the court “will be determined at a later date, though he is expected to miss the 2017-18 season.”

The injury is yet another brutal blow for Knight, who has struggled with various injuries since being traded to Phoenix in 2015. He missed 46 of his first 109 games with the team. His first two seasons in Phoenix both ended prematurely due to significant ailments.

Two months after the Suns acquired him in February 2015, Knight was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle. The following season, 2015-16, he missed significant time with a sports hernia. Knight had averaged 19.6 points and 5.1 assists per contest that year, but played just 52 games.

Last season, Knight averaged just 11 points per game, a career low, in 54 appearances — 49 of them off the bench. The Suns shut him down after the All-Star break, in large part due to the franchise’s wish to accumulate as many losses as possible to better its lottery position.

Phoenix traded for Knight at the deadline in 2015 as part of a three-team deal involving the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. Knight and Kendall Marshall went from Milwaukee to the Suns. Michael Carter-Williams went from Philadelphia to the Bucks. The Suns sent Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee to the Bucks, and sent a Lakers first-round pick to the Sixers. That pick became part of the Sixers’ trade to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft (Markelle Fultz).

Phoenix then re-signed Knight to a five-year, $70 million contract in the summer of 2015. Knight is still owed $43.9 million over the final three years of the deal.

The No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Knight was expected to enter his seventh NBA season as a backup to starting point guard Eric Bledsoe and shooting guard Devin Booker. With Bledsoe’s name mentioned in Kyrie Irving trade rumors, he had an outside chance to see an uptick in minutes.

Instead, he’ll likely spend the entire season on the sidelines, rehabbing from yet another surgery, the latest setback in a long line of misfortune. If he misses the entire campaign, he’ll have played in just 117 of 274 games in three-and-a-half years in Phoenix.