The Phoenix Suns’ tank keeps rolling as the season comes to an end. The Suns have officially made it clear that both Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler will be shut down for the rest of the year.
Knight won't play again this season according to Watson, "He's not playing the rest of the season"; joining Bledsoe, Chandler #SunsVsMagic
— Craig Grialou (@CraigAZSports) March 18, 2017
This news comes on the heels of the team shutting down point guard Eric Bledsoe for the rest of the season as well. The Suns are currently sitting at 22-46 with no chance at the postseason; instead, they are spending the last few games of the year to evaluate young players and potentially tank for a better draft pick.
While it’s not uncommon for teams like the Suns to shut down veterans late into the year (the Lakers did the same with Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov), the circumstances in which Knight’s shut down occurred are interesting.
After Bledsoe was removed from the starting lineup, the Suns reportedly asked Knight to replace him but he refused, citing back spasms that had previously not been on the injury report. Knight had not played since a blowout win over the Lakers on February 15th and has struggled all season.
Knight is under contract through the 2019-2020 season so he will not have control over his playing situation unless he demands a trade. However, with his recent struggles, the Suns will find it difficult to find a trade partner for the point guard. Perhaps, all this will blow over once the Suns are more competitive but that could be quite a while in the future.