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Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight, who missed the entire 2017-18 season, can’t wait for the upcoming season to start and is ready to take on more of a leadership role.
Knight suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the summer of 2017. The 26-year-old played in 54 games in 2016-17 with the Suns and averaged 11.0 points per contest.
The 6-3 scoring guard used his time off the court as a learning experience to help build his leadership skills.
“When you can’t play, you can’t affect the game on the court,” Knight told Suns.com. “I just found other ways to try to help my teammates be better. Whether that be telling tidbits I saw that I observed. I just tried to be a veteran presence on our team and lead through that.”
Knight signed a five-year, $70 million deal with Phoenix in 2015 after getting traded by the Milwaukee Bucks. In his absence last season, Devin Booker developed into a star by averaging 24.9 points per game. The Suns secured the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft and selected Deandre Ayton from Arizona.
Injuries have been a constant theme in Knight’s pro career. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle in April of 2015 and has missed a plethora of games due to back ailments.
Knight, though, is ready to put his past struggles behind him.
“I’ve been excited since December, when I started running,” Knight said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m very excited about this season. It’s all about us improving and trying to do what’s best here in Phoenix and give the fans what they deserve. When you’re not playing, you kind of get a chance to slow down and really just observe everything that’s going on as a whole. I think it allows you to see things differently.”
The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since the 2009-10 campaign. The team still has a ways to go to compete in the rugged Western Conference, but with Knight back in the lineup, Phoenix should eclipse their win total from last season when they only won 21 games.