Suns get Anderson, send Knight, Chriss to Rockets
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have completed a four-player trade that sends guard Brandon Knight and forward Marquese Chriss to the Houston Rockets for forward Ryan Anderson and guard De'Anthony Melton.
Knight had been considered in line to start at point guard for the Suns after missing last season while recovering from knee surgery but now will see time as a backup to Chris Paul for what is expected to be an NBA contender in Houston.
The 6-foot-10 Anderson, who two years ago signed a four-year, $80 million free agent deal with Houston, figures to start at power forward alongside this year's No. 1 overall draft pick, center Deandre Ayton.
Chriss was the eighth overall pick out of Washington two years ago who has not progressed the way the Suns had hoped. Still, he's just 21.
Melton, 19, is a second-round draft pick out of USC who showed dynamic, if raw, talent in the Las Vegas Summer League.
To make the trade work financially, Anderson agreed to reduce the guaranteed portion of his contract for the coming season to $15.6 million. That matches Knight's salary.
"Ryan has established himself as one of the league's best shooters and we think he'll be a great fit in our offensive system," Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said in a news release announcing the trade. "De'Anthony is a talented young guard who stood out for us throughout the pre-draft process and at the NBA Summer League."
The Suns now are expected to focus on obtaining an experienced point guard.
Anderson, who is entering his 11th NBA season, adds experience to a young Phoenix roster that features shooting guard Devin Booker and small forward Josh Jackson.
Anderson's scoring average dipped to 9.3 points per game last season, his lowest since 2008-09, his second year in the league. He averaged 13.6 points per game two years ago, his first season in Houston. He averaged a career-high 19.8 points per game in 2013-14 with New Orleans. He also played with the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic.
Knight averaged 19.6 points per game for Phoenix in 2014-15 but his career was plagued by injuries with the Suns, where he sometimes played out of position because the team had Eric Bledsoe at point. Knight has a career average of 15.2 points per game in eight seasons with Detroit, Milwaukee and Phoenix.
Chriss, who is remarkably athletic and has a 7-foot-1 wing span, averaged 9.2 points and played in all 82 games as a rookie. That dipped to 7.7 points in 72 games last season.