Restricted free agent Brandon Knight has re-signed with the Phoenix Suns for five years and $70 million, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The team said retaining Knight this offseason would be a top priority and followed through by giving the guard a lucrative deal worth $14 million annually.
A year after signing Eric Bledsoe to a five-year, $70 million deal as a restricted free agent, the Suns have solved Knight's situation with the same contract. Now the team's two starting guards have matching deals, though Bledsoe's will expire a year earlier.
When the Suns broke up their three point guard experiment at the trade deadline last February, shipping Isaiah Thomas to Boston and Goran Dragic to Miami, Knight was their replacement. While he spent much of his time in Phoenix injured, playing just 11 games with the Suns, the guard was clearly brought to the organization with ideas of him staying long term.
Now he's one of the highest paid players in Phoenix and a key building block along with Bledsoe, Alex Len, the Morris brothers and first-round pick Devin Booker.
It's unfortunate Knight's two seasons in Detroit are mostly remembered for being dunked on by DeAndre Jordan, because he wasn't bad playing for the Pistons. However, two seasons in Milwaukee is where he truly blossomed, turning into a scoring guard with just enough playmaking to pass at point.
In his breakout 2013-14 season, Knight averaged 18 points and five assists in 33 minutes. Before his trade to Phoenix, Knight was playing even better: 18 points on 44 percent shooting while hitting 41 percent of his three-pointers. He likely won't ever shoot a great percentage on his two-pointers due to his struggles finishing at the rim, but he's still a quality scorer and playmaker who doesn't turn 24 until December.
Consider how much they gave up to bring him to Phoenix, of course it makes sense they re-signed him. While his short season audition could have gone better considering the injuries, the two sides respect each other and Knight's return seemed somewhat inevitable. After a summer filled with drama surrounding Eric Bledsoe, the Suns have to be breathing a sigh of relief that this negotiation wrapped up quickly and smoothly.