Phoenix Suns Add Versatility, Shooting in Surprising Trade With Houston

Right before midnight on the East Coast, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight had been traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Houston Rockets.

I’ve listened to a lot of Phoenix Suns-themed podcasts this offseason, most penciling in Brandon Knight as the team’s starting point guard. Luckily, it was only pencil because on Thursday night we got an unexpected Wojbomb: Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton.

Knight, while expected to start this coming season, was a disappointment ever since coming over from Milwaukee in 2015. Through 117 career games with Phoenix, Knight barely shot over 40 percent and struggled with injuries.

On the flip side, we didn’t quite know what Marquese Chriss was. Some days he looked like an NBA starter (ie: the end of last season), other times he had fans hoping for a tweet like Adrian Wojnarowski dropped tonight. You just never knew. In his two seasons with the Phoenix, Chriss averaged 8.5 points in just over 21 minutes per game. He shot slightly better than Knight from the field (43.8 percent) but his accuracy from downtown was plain sad (30.9 percent).

While it would have been nice to see things through with Chriss, he can’t shoot from deep and that’s what the Suns need right now. With Ryan Anderson coming over, they’ll now have a bonafide sharpshooter in their rotation. In his two seasons with Houston, he shot a combined 39.6 percent from three-point land — better than every single Suns’ player during the same period.

It should be noted that Phoenix finished dead-last in three-point shooting last season.

As for Melton, he isn’t a great shooter but he’s the most versatile player in this trade. A second round pick, he proved in the 2018 NBA Summer League that he probably deserved to go higher. In five games with Houston, the 6-foot-4 rookie averaged 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 minutes per game.

Most impressive of all, though, is the fact that he also led the squad in assists and steals per game.

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Wrapping things up, the Suns improved with this trade. Knight and Chriss were both coin-flips on a nightly basis while Anderson is a consistent shooter and Melton has star potential. I’m certainly OK with how things went down.