The Phoenix Suns are facing adversity three months before the NBA season even begins. Point guard Brandon Knight has reportedly suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. The injury may force him to miss the entire 2017-18 season. It continues a career that has been decimated from the jump by injuries. It could also create greater confusion in regards to trade rumors currently encapsulating the Suns.

Devastating injury for Knight

Knight reportedly suffered the injury during a pro-am game in Miami last week. He has yet to undergo surgery, though it is expected to take place on Friday; once that occurs, a clearer timetable for his recovery will emerge.

He's coming off a season in which he averaged 11.0 points and 2.4 assists per game over the course of 54 contests. Knight was expected to backup Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe next season.

Knight has yet to capitalize on the promise that led to him being selected eighth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He's now on his third NBA team, following a stint with the Milwaukee Bucks. His stats look impressive at each step of his journey, but he has yet to really be given an opportunity or found a perfect fit with any of the teams he's played with. In Phoenix, he has been blocked out by Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. He was shut down for the last month of the previous campaign, despite being healthy - it wasn't clear why that decision was made.

Impact on the Suns and beyond

For the Suns, the loss immediately means the lack of a strong backup behind Bledsoe. Tyler Ulis is the only other point guard on the active roster, although there may be a roster spot for Mike James down the road. None of those names are going to inspire a great amount of confidence as Phoenix aims to go from young pretender to still young contender this season.

Knight would have played an integral role in that.

Knight's injury could have wider ramifications across the NBA, however. His name has been dangled unsuccessfully in trades before - he still has about three years and $44 million left on an undesirable contract. But he could have served as a chip for any deal involving Kyrie Irving, a player the Suns appear to covet.

Without him, the team either loses a trade chip or someone that could have served as an insurance policy if any of the involved players were hurt. His injury could leave the league in a bit of a standstill as the Cleveland Cavaliers pursue a trade of their star guard.

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