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Kevin Knox – 6’9” Small Forward, Kentucky, 18 Years Old
Kevin Knox enters the NBA Draft as a potential lottery pick. During his one season at Kentucky, Knox displayed his abilities and became a key man. The 6’9” small forward played 37 games and helped lead Kentucky to the Sweet Sixteen. Kentucky would lose to Kansas State and Knox would later announce he was entering the NBA Draft.
Knox averaged 15 points, five rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in college, shooting 44 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc. Playing for a young John Calipari team, Knox was a leading contributor and was named SEC Freshman of the Year. Some believe that Knox could sneak into the top-10 on draft night.
Knox provides good size and length, helping him shoot over smaller defenders. He has the potential to develop a solid post game. Knox has great measurements for a small forward, which will likely lead to him playing the four in the NBA. He’s smooth with the ball, which helps him drive to the rim. He also has good defensive potential; his solid athleticism should help him develop at that end of the floor.
Knox has a long stride, with solid footwork offensively. He’s still 18 years old, so he has plenty of room to develop. A skilled finisher around the rim, Knox can finish with either hand. He could become a valuable pick-and-roll player, as well. Knox can score in many ways. Despite not shooting a great percentage in college, expect him to become more efficient with age. He also runs the floor well and is a good floor spacer.
Despite being a good athlete, Knox lacks burst and the vertical ability to take full advantage of his other skills. He struggles to create his own offense and his lack of post game could hold him back early on. Knox needs to be a better playmaker for those around him, as he can suffer from tunnel vision at times. He settles for mid-range shots too often and needs to be more assertive. Knox is a good free throw shooter, shooting 77 percent from the line. However, he must remain consistent and force his way to the line more often.
Knox has the physical tools to make a bigger impact on defense. However, his numbers in college were mediocre. Physicality and toughness are big question marks for Knox. Attacking the rim and fighting for rebounds at either end should be a focus going forward. Knox must take full advantage of his physical tools. He should contest shots, battle, and jump for loose balls. Knox looked like he lacked the hunger to compete for the entire 40 minutes in college.
Only 18 years old, Knox has the time to fully develop his game. He has the tools to become a quality starter in the NBA, but only if he improves in the right areas. Coming in, Knox already has a good skillset and the versatility to be an effective player. However, the team that drafts him must handle his situation with care. Even if he sneaks into the top-10, expect Knox to be a project. In that sense, his situation would be similar to Brandon Ingram‘s rookie season: average results off the bat but great potential down the road.
NBA Player Comparison
With his size and versatility, Knox is a potential Paul George type player. He doesn’t have the same bounce that George plays with, but he could be as productive down the line. A more realistic comparison for Knox would be Tobias Harris. Both are capable scorers who can shoot the ball and have size on the wing. Kelly Oubre is another player Knox could emulate. Knox is a raw prospect. Expect Knox to have a long career in the NBA, but patience will be key.
Look for Kevin Knox to be a lottery pick on draft night, and be sure to stay updated with our complete coverage of the 2018 NBA Draft!