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Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Brandon Knight

When I profiled Kemba Walker, I mentioned the main reason I fell in love with Walker’s game was his ability to hit big shots. Well, Brandon Knight just got done showing he has that knack as well.

Info

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, freshman G from Kentucky

Key stats: 17.2 points, 4.2 assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the field and 38 percent from three

Projected: Lottery

How would he help the Pistons?

After an up and down regular season, Knight, should he choose to enter the draft, seems to have helped his draft stock as much as anyone. He was always considered a first round talent, but the way he’s asserted himself on Kentucky’s run to the Final Four has him looking like a legit lead guard/playmaker. He’s probably not as advanced as former John Calipari products Derrick Rose and John Wall, but even if Knight could have an Eric Bledsoe-like impact as a rookie, the team that drafted him would be very happy.

The Pistons’ need for a playmaker is an obvious one. There isn’t a guy on the roster who can consistently create his own shot under any circumstance when things break down. Knight potentially has that ability, and the best part is most mocks have him available in the 7-10 range where Detroit is most likely to be drafting. Knight is quick off the dribble, he’s big (and will get bigger as he fills out) and he might be a better perimeter shooter already than Rose/Wall were at his age.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Knight’s measurables are fantastic. He’s in the mold of the new wave NBA PG both in size and athleticism, although he’s not the explosive athlete that Rose or Wall or Russell Westbrook are. He’s a shoot-first PG, but what his season didn’t provide a clear answer to is if he’s a shoot-first PG like Rose or Wall, who still sets up good opportunities for others even if he’s the primary scoring option, or is he more Tyreke Evans, a phenomenal talent with scoring ability who doesn’t have the court vision or awareness of the others. Knight has also had problems with turnovers this season at Kentucky.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

Knight is obviously a great talent who has the chance to succeed as either a point guard or combo guard depending on his development, but he’ll need to develop a much more mature approach to the game to reach his full potential. Putting more focus on his shot selection, creating for others, and his defensive effort are all critical things he needs to address, and he still has plenty of time to do so. His potential as a starting point guard obviously greatly trumps his potential as a combo guard coming off the bench, so getting back to showing more of a pass-first mentality would likely help his draft stock considerably.

From ESPN:

But Knight got better — a lot better — as the season progressed, much like two other former Calipari guards, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans. Knight is more comfortable running the offense (especially since Calipari has him using more ball screens) and has been Kentucky’s steadiest player this season.

From NBADraft.net:

Very creative passer … Quick decision maker … A fierce competitor, really steps his level of play up in big situations … High motor guy. Plays with a high level of intensity and passion … Strong work ethic, constantly looking to improve both his body and game … His body has seen an impressive transformation from his sophomore to senior year of high school … Has an excellent jumpshot with range out to 3 point … Good shooter off the dribble … An excellent defender who uses his length and quickness to stay in front of his man … Drew 2 changes per game as a senior in high school … Very smart, engaging young man with a bright future

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores

Previously

11 Comments

  • Mar 28, 201111:38 am
    by Matt

    Reply

    The Pistons need to take a PG with their first round selection IMO, especially if Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker declare. Every team on the rise in the NBA has a young, PG who can take over a game. Nobody in College Basketball can take over a game like Kemba, and Knight has shown the ability to do the same. I know everyone wants a big, but the only big with enough talent to make a difference right now Derrick Williams will be long gone by the 7th pick. People hate on Kemba saying he is the next BG, but there is no sure fire star in the draft. Take a chance on someone who potentially can be a franchise changer. Nobody though Rondo, Westbrook or Evans would be franchise changers either.

    • Mar 28, 20113:06 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I agree mostly with that, although I’m not 100 percent convinced Knight or Walker is an elite level PG at the NBA level. Love them both as college players though.

      And you’re 100 percent right about the people who compare Walker to Gordon. It’s ridiculous. Walker’s ball-handling is phenomenal. Gordon has never handled the ball well, even in college.

  • Mar 28, 201112:51 pm
    by BIG MARV

    Reply

     so it almost sound like a steal for the pistons if this guy falls to the 7-10 range but like most guys are saying alot of teams already have young good PG. WE DONT so like matt said get that pg first and you can pick up a good young player via free-agency or mabey find one in the 2nd rd of the draft.

    • Mar 28, 20113:07 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I think the Pistons would be very lucky if Knight is still on the board when they are likely to be picking. Hopefully they win the lottery though.

  • Mar 28, 20111:29 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    a lot of teams do have good young PG’s, except most of the ones drafting in front of us. and this draft is looking iffier by the day. sullinger returning leaves a big void. who knows what the others are going to choose to do.

    • Mar 28, 20113:11 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m not 100 percent convinced Sullinger is staying. A lot of guys say they’re staying after an emotional loss then think better of it. Sullinger has a legit shot at being the No. 1 pick, especially considering this draft is so thin. if he stays another year, some of his weaknesses could begin to show more and that might hurt his draft stock. It’s happened quite a bit to guys, Joakim Noah as one example. Noah may have been the top pick had he come out as a junior and instead stayed and fell to lower lottery.

  • Mar 28, 20111:45 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    Thanks for the draft summaries. I’m enjoying them.
     
    The Pistons need a star. They’re not in a position to plug holes for need. The team is going nowhere until they land a guy who can command both a double team and biased calls from the refs. That said, I really like Knight. He’s quick, great size, great competitor. He reminds me a bit of D Wade, who was also overlooked coming out of college.
     
    I could see him starting at point, and being very effective. That would give the Pistons of starting Stuck at the two, playing Knight at the 2, or bringing Stuckey off of the bench as a Gnobli type. (I’d be much more comfortable with Stuckey in that role than Hamilton or BG, both of whom I’d like to trade.)
     
    Looking at the draftexpress.com big board I’ll actually be surprised if Knight is there at 7,8,9. Even if he grades out a bit lower than some of the big guys, he has a much higher ceiling than all of the guys above him save Perry Jones, and maybe Williams and Irving. I actually think Knight is a better pro-prospect than Irving who plays *way* too low to the ground for a guy his size.
     

    • Mar 28, 20113:13 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m with you on Knight. He’s been fantastic in the tournament and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t move up into the top five range based on that, particularly if he leads Kentucky to the national title.

  • Mar 28, 20113:42 pm
    by Matt

    Reply

    Thanks for replying to my post Justin. I agree about the Sullinger comment, he will at the very least enter his name to the advisor committee much in the way Darius Morris did. All be it Sullinger would have a legitimate reason to do so.

  • Mar 28, 20114:56 pm
    by Tiko

    Reply

    YES!!! I was going to ask when you will make a Draft Dream section for Brandon Knight.  I honestly think Knight has the tools to be the best pg in this draft.  I hope we have a chance to draft him.

  • Mar 28, 20115:15 pm
    by Scott86Free

    Reply

    I think Knight’s future as an all star caliber player or just a great play maker on a championship team depends on what type of coach or veteran play maker presents he has around him. Kinda like how Rondo and Wall had Sam Cassell or CP3 had Coach Byron Scott. Also agree with Patrick and to add more to that if he looks good against Kemba Walker and he gets his team to a national title he is possible a top 5 pick but wouldn’t be surprised to see him taken at 6,7,8 or 9 because there is probably going 1 or 2 teams that are going to make dumb picks (I am looking at you minnesota).

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