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Brandon Knight was the right pick, but far from a perfect one for the Detroit Pistons

NEWARK, New Jersey – When the Pistons drafted Brandon Knight with the eighth pick, he went through the usual hug-and-kiss routine with the family and friends at his green-room table, but a key element was missing: a smile. He shook hands with David Stern and forced a few teeth to show while posing for pictures. Then, on a night nearly everyone in his draft class joyfully lapped up the experience, Knight meandered through his interview circuit with terse answers and a frown.

You’ll read quotes today from Knight about how excited he is to join the Pistons, and I’m sure the words will be correctly transcribed. But seeing the text won’t convey how dejected he looked and sounded.

It’s nothing personal to Detroit. Knight, who worked out only with the Cavaliers (No. 1 and No. 4 picks), Jazz (No. 3), Raptors (No. 5) and Kings (No. 7) certainly expected to get drafted before the eighth pick. And the Pistons must’ve figured they’d get a player who fits more of a need. So, I doubt either side is thrilled. But that doesn’t change two truths:

The Pistons made the right pick. Detroit is the best landing spot for Knight.

Knight was the best player available. None of the tall players who seemed like they might be available at No. 8 – Tristan Thompson, Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely and Bismack Biyombo – slipped to the Pistons’ pick. Frankly, none of them should’ve.

For Knight, it’s simple: if he fell any further, he would’ve lost more money.

So, it’s up to the Pistons and Knight to make this imperfect partnership work. Neither side needed each other, but they’re better off together just because of what they could accomplish together. Now, Knight and the Pistons must take the steps to ensure they find success.

Managing expectations

As obvious as the resemblance was, Joe Dumars has typically shied away from comparing Rodney Stuckey to Chauncey Billups. Stuckey has clearly been living in Billups’ footsteps in Detroit, anyway. Why add to that pressure?

Apparently Dumars doesn’t have the same desire to protect Knight.

“Chauncey can stand out there and shoot with the best of them, and this kid, that’s what he does,” Dumars said. “He can really, really shoot the ball. … He’s going to be one of those point guards that when you name the best shooting point guards, he’s going to be one of those guys.”

Let’s slow down. Way down.

The first step is understanding why Knight fell. By my count, he was the eight-best prospect for the Pistons in this draft. Getting him with the eighth pick is fitting, not a blessing.

I suspect many fans are happy with Knight because he’s not another European like, gasp, Darko. Fans with that simple-minded view will likely compare him to previous John Calipari point guards John Wall, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose. But if those three are the bar, Knight won’t clear it.

There are plenty of reasons to like Knight. He’s talented, smart,* hard-working, athletic and long – a special combination. How many players possess all five of those attributes and fail?

*Awesome story via Kevin Bull of the Detroit Free Press:

Knight, who attended Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., visited Yale before landing at Kentucky.

"He could go to any school in the country without bouncing a ball," David Beckerman, his prep coach, told the Kentucky Advocate-Messenger in 2010. "He has a 4.3 grade-point average at the No. 1 academic school in Florida. He could not bounce a ball and go to Harvard. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player, but he’s also a superb student."

There’s just one problem: he wasn’t very good at playing basketball last year. He hit some big shots and showed raw talent, and he’s young. I’m certainly not writing him off. But that doesn’t change the fact that Knight wasn’t that good last year.

Here’s how the he ranked among the 22 point guards in DraftExpress’ top 100:

  • Points per 40 minutes, pace adjusted: 14th
  • Assists per 40 minutes, pace adjusted: 15th
  • Offensive-rebounding percentage: 16th
  • Defensive-rebounding percentage: 10th
  • Steals per 40 minutes, pace adjusted: 23rd
  • Blocks per 40 minutes, pace adjusted: 7th (seven-way tie)
  • Turnovers per 40 minutes, pace adjusted: 17th (three-way tie)
  • Personal fouls per 40 minutes, pace adjusted: 13th (five-way tie)
  • 2-point percentage: 17th (tie)
  • 3-point percentage: 12th
  • Free-throw percentage: 13th
  • Assist-to-turnover ratio: 18th
  • Points per play: 15th
  • Free-throw attempt per field-goal attempt: 16th

That’s the résumé of someone who should have the expectations for him dialed down, not up, like the Pistons are doing. It didn’t stop with the Billups comparison, either.

Dumars said everyone on his staff spent time with Knight and watched him play, I think implying that not working him out doesn’t mean they aren’t certain of his high value. But were the Pistons around Kentucky so much to see Knight or Enes Kanter? I suspect the latter had more to do with it. Still, I trust Detroit had the appropriate amount of information to evaluate Knight. That doesn’t make Knight bust-proof, though. Does Dumars really have to hammer in how sure everyone in the organization is about Knight?

Dumars also brought up Knight saying in his interview with the Pistons that he had 90 credits at the end of his freshman year. Maybe that’s on Knight for fibbing or Dumars for exaggerating, but I can’t believe Knight has that many credits. He entered Kentucky with 21 credits and had nearly 60 credits through May 10. I doubt he added more than 30 credits since then. For the most part, that’s a harmless stretch. But, again, why up expectations?

Even Knight is working on sending Pistons fans into a tizzy. Before the draft, according to Kevin Jones of Philadunkia, when asked about players he admires, Knight listed Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash and Derrick Rose. Speaking with Detroit media, he answered the same question with Isiah Thomas and Chauncey Billups.

At this point, how many Pistons fans aren’t gaga for Knight? We could probably hold a meeting in an elevator.

As Patrick frequently notes, the Pistons have a bad habit of hyping their young players to an unhealthy level. Now would be a great time to stop. It would also be a great time to add more young players worth hyping. But first, that would require shedding the dead weight that overwhelms the roster.

Crafting the roster around Brandon Knight

In Knight’s post-draft press conference, someone began a question, “In addition to veterans, you’ve got a lot of young guys, guys like Greg Monroe and guys like –” The reporter paused, completed the sentence with an awkward “that are young players” and then finished his question.

Is it really that hard to name two good, young Pistons? Apparently it is, and that’s a problem. As Dumars said, Knight is just a quality piece. The Pistons need more of them, preferably ones who complement their new point guard.

I’m not suggesting the Pistons make Knight their franchise player. If you read the previous section, that much should be clear. But they should surround such a high pick with parts that would give him a chance to excel.

I know that won’t be easy like it would’ve been had a desirable big fallen to the Pistons. If they had drafted, say, Bismack Biyombo, a couple point guards (Darius Morris and Josh Selby) would’ve offered good value at No. 33. Then, all of a sudden, Detroit would’ve been on its way to assembling a balanced roster.

At least the Pistons have a starting point. A Knight-Stuckey-Austin Daye-Jonas Jerebko-Greg Monroe lineup is worth getting excited about. How many teams can post such a strong lineup that’s so young next season?

But behind those five players lies a wake of problems. To start, Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Will Bynum might want some minutes in Detroit’s suddenly more-crowded backcourt. Charlie Villanueva and Jason Maxiell are paid like players who warrant serious playing time, too. Also, are the Pistons ready to kick Tayshaun Prince to the curb if he doesn’t find the market elsewhere for a complementary wing on the wrong side of 30 as tempting as hoped?

And heck, the biggest question mark is already penciled into my lineup of the future. What happens now with Stuckey, a restricted free agent? Dumars said he spoke with Stuckey shortly before meeting with the media last night and gave no indication his plans have changed about wanting to re-sign Stuckey. At best, Knight’s presence lowers Stuckey’s salary. At worst, the Pistons overpay anyway and hinder Knight’s development. In the middle, Detroit let’s Stuckey walk away. All three are possible, as are a number of scenarios in the gaps.

The ownership change was supposed to give Dumars a chance to alleviate all these roster concerns, and he’ll get it in due time. But right now, it feels like the handcuffs are still on.

The draft dealt Dumars a difficult hand, because the best player available made the roster even more jumbled. But because he chose to take Knight, Dumars owes it to him to find a way to fix this roster and give him a chance to succeed.

A sad draft night – but a happy future?

I’m not jumping up and down about this pick, but I see avenues that will lead to it working if both sides take dedicated steps toward making it work.

Simply: Knight must get better, and the Pistons must get better for him.

75 Comments

  • Jun 24, 20116:05 am
    by Jayg108

    Reply

    I was bummed when I heard Biyombo’s name get called before the Pistons were on the board. I can’t see why the Pistons don’t trade Knight for a Morris twin and a veteran.

    • Jun 24, 20119:20 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, I think Knight has more upside than either Morris twin and I think PHX and HOU are pretty set at their respective PG positions and thin up front, so they probably don’t have much need for Knight.

  • Jun 24, 20116:54 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    the Pistons got their point guard of the future and a back up small forward.

    Now Joe has to clear out the logjam and get rid of Ben Gordon and Rip Hamilton and get a big in a sign & trade for Tay.

    i loved Utah’s draft. Wish we got Kanter and Burks

  • Jun 24, 20117:15 am
    by Dirtgrain

    Reply

    Knight being a freshman has to be considered when looking at his stats–i.e., what did Kemba Walker do as a freshman?
    His turnovers per game settled around three:
     
    <div style=”margin:0px auto;text-align:center”><a href=”http://statsheet.com/mcb” target=”_blank” style=”text-decoration:none;color:#999;font-family:sans-serif;font-size:11px”>College Basketball</a><br /><script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript” src=”http://statsheet.com/charts/chartlets/2011/06/24/mcb_players_player_kentucky_brandon_knight_plusminus_1_per_game_1_tslug_kentucky_tempo_neutral_1_ga_31493.js”></script></div>

    • Jun 24, 20119:19 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Knight’s youth, as well as his physical skills, are why he was a much better prospect than Kemba. Knight didn’t have a good season overall, although he did improve, particularly in the NCAA tournament.

  • Jun 24, 20117:16 am
    by Dirtgrain

    Reply

    Oops.  I was trying to embed a chard from Statsheet.

  • Jun 24, 20117:19 am
    by Dirtgrain

    Reply

    Man, I give up.  Ha.

  • Jun 24, 20117:47 am
    by rob

    Reply

    This article is stupid. Knight is a better player than any of the bigs they were even looking at. It worked out perfect. We got a PG, a huge need, with All-Star potential. Who in their right mind would’ve rather had one of the above average big men?

    I couldnt be more excited. 

    For Knight, understandably he was upset, he was betrayed by Utah, who since the lottery drawing used Knight as nothing but huge bluff for them to take Kanter. Plus he lost $2 mil/yr in salary.

    But in the end, the Pistons are the best pick for him. The history of the Pistons developing legendary PG’s is unquestioned (Bing, Isiah, Billups), as well as their proven ability to win championships. He couldnt get both of those traits from any other team in the lottery. We give him the best chance to have the best career possible. The other teams are perrenial lottery teams. We are a top 5 franchise in the league.

    • Jun 24, 20119:05 am
      by RandomGuy313

      Reply

      @rob I agree with your assertions on Brandon Knight’s psyche. I would be dejected to if you were sold on the idea that you were going 3 and then to slip down to 8.

    • Jun 24, 20119:18 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @rob:

      So the article is stupid for … what? You say that Knight was upset because he slipped in the draft. Does Dan not say the EXACT same thing in the post? You also say, “But in the end, the Pistons are the best pick for him.”

      The first part of the headline is: “Brandon Knight was the right pick.”

      So … the article is stupid for agreeing with you?

      • Jun 24, 201110:20 am
        by rob

        Reply

        Didnt mean to offend you guys, sorry, poor choice of words, saying stupid. I just found the article to be somewhat exaggerated for effect, with the whole Knight looking unhappy deal. I just think the article made too big a deal about it.

        And imo Knight WAS a perfect pick. The title said “FAR from perfect”. But I cant see any way to justify any of the other players that the Pistons were targeting like Thompson, Biyombo, Jonas, etc as better players than Knight, who was rated, at worst, 4th best player in the draft. How could getting the 4th best player in the draft at 8 be far from perfect?

        It was perfect. You couldnt ask for a better pick at 8. They would’ve had to trade up to 4 with CLE and gave up a bunch of assets to get him, but they got him at 8 for nothing. I didnt think there was any chance of getting any player at 8 who had true all-star potential. Getting it at 8, thats a perfect pick, imo. The unhappy looks, not a big deal, imo.

        • Jun 24, 201110:55 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “Knight, who was rated, at worst, 4th best player in the draft. How could getting the 4th best player in the draft at 8 be far from perfect?”

          Well, I think that’s the point Dan’s making. Mock drafts had him going top four because they believed Utah was going to draft for need and (with Irving gone) take the best available PG, since the Jazz have a lot of bigs and Devin Harris will be a free agent after the season. The Jazz instead took who many believed was the third best player, Kanter.

          There’s a difference between mocks (which account for what they think a team will do) and prospect rankings. Chad Ford and DraftExpress, for example, have always had Knight in the 7ish range in their prospect rankings, but had him going higher in the draft. The reason it’s a “far from perfect” pick for the Pistons is if the Jazz took Knight, one of the bigs who was rated higher in prospect rankings (Valuncianus, Kanter, Biyombo) may have fallen.

          I like Knight a lot and I think he’ll work out well for the Pistons. But I can’t say that I thought he was better, based on all of the things I read before and after the draft, than Biyombo, Valuncianus or Kanter. I do think he’s better than Tristan Thompson for sure though.

  • Jun 24, 20118:11 am
    by Eric

    Reply

    Sorry I have to disagree with you, and this was the best scenario that could have played out.  He was a top five pick and fell to the Pistons just like Greg Monroe did last year.  Stuckey is not a starting point guard and that had to be adressed eventually through the draft or through another avenue.  The Pistons needed a leader and someone who can take the big shots in the 4th quarter, which the Pistons have lacked since Billups was traded.  The draft is just one step in the process and the roster is going to changing more this offseason.

    • Jun 24, 20119:14 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Why was it the “best” scenario? I mean, the “best” scenario would’ve been like Kyrie Irving or Williams or Kanter or Valunciunas falling to 8. Knight is not a bad consolation prize, and I like that his presence means they will absolutely have to move probably two of their incumbent guards, but I don’t know that I’d call it the “best” thing that could’ve happened for Detroit.

      • Jun 24, 201110:34 am
        by rob

        Reply

        I agree with you here that one of the hidden beauties of this pick is that Stuckey PG experiment is officially over. And even better this probably means Gordon will be traded.

        IMO, Stuckey will be re-signed to the 2. I think a Knight/Stuckey backcourt is going to be great. Joe even said in his presser Stuckey called him and they were already talking about how he fits next Knight. So it sounds like Gordon will be the odd man out, as I cant see him wanting spend another year on the bench, nor the Pistons wanting to keep $11 mil in a back up guard when they have big needs to fill up front. Bynum is perfectly suitable and approriately paid to be the 3rd guard, when you have what should be one of the best young starting backcourts in the league with Knight and Stuckey. I think Stuckey is really happy too, because he finally has someone else to be the leader that he never wanted to be, and can go back to playing his natural position off the ball. And because Knight is such a great shooter, Stuckey’s lack of shooting at SG wont be a big factor in him playing SG. It was a problem when you had to play him at PG  because he was out of position. And you couldn’t put him at SG effectively with Byum at PG, because neither could shoot. Knight allows Stuckey the best chance to thrive at his natural position, where he can just catch the ball on the elbows and penetrate to the basket, as well as run more in transition. And defense wont be able to pack the paint as much with Knight’s 3 pt ability, opening even more lanes for Stuckey to drive. Its a great fit all around.

  • Jun 24, 20118:36 am
    by duke

    Reply

    I don’t like this pick, we have enough combo guards, and he didn’t seem to want to come to Detroit anyway. I understand he might have been the best player available, but in this situation he was not the right fit, we should have traded this pick and Prince and or Rip for a quality shooting guard or small forward. This roster needs a complete overhaul, it’s time to really assess the value and potential of Stuck and Ben, and maybe it’s time to let them go. The needs of the Pistons:
    1. A shooting guard/or move Stuck there as that is his true position
    2. A scoring center, we need production in the paint
    3. Get rid of all our vets that have more than 6 years in the league (yes Big Ben too).
    4. Bring in a point guard vet to either start or groom this pick, will or somebody.
    5. A veteran coach.

    • Jun 24, 20119:13 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Couple of things:

      - They can’t trade Prince until after free agency starts b/c he has to be a sign and trade, and you can’t sign free agents yet.

      - Indications are Detroit listened to offers for the pick. If they didn’t get any offers that would’ve netted them a better player than Knight, then why make a trade?

      - All of the potential impact bigs were gone, including Thompson, a player no one thought would be off the board before 8. They just simply weren’t going to fill their big man need with a draft pick after Charlotte moved up to get Biyombo.

  • Jun 24, 20118:36 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    I am one who wanted size but am very happy that we got Knight. This draft to me will be judged on who they can get for Prince, Gordon and Hamilton. If Joe can deal Prince for Kaman and Hamilton for a guy like Blatche then taking a PG wasn’t such a bad move. We still need more size but i can deal with baby steps. It’s better then having the handcuffs on like the last 2 years.

    • Jun 24, 20119:28 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’d prefer they call Utah about Milsap, Jefferson or even Okur before they start talking about really flawed guys like Kaman or Blatche.

      • Jun 24, 201111:27 am
        by gmehl1977

        Reply

        I was aiming low as i don’t want to get my hopes up. I would love Millsap or  maybe even David West if he is fully healed. I think we keep Rip until and see how he fits next to Knight. Gordon is definitely the odd man out but you would think Joe would want to see who out of Rip/Stuckey/Gordon fit better with Knight. Utah is definitely the team to trade with to get a big. I would offer Daye and Maxiel for Millsap
        http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=5sfnnt6

  • Jun 24, 20118:38 am
    by Jason

    Reply

    Come on Dan. This article is crap.  Are you depressed or something? 

    He is smart and has great length for a point guard.  Plus he can shoot.   Great pick!!

    No one is putting him to be a star yet but I am very excited about our future now that Dumars can make moves.

    • Jun 24, 20119:09 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      So, you call the article “crap” and then you mention this: “He is smart and has great length for a point guard.  Plus he can shoot.   Great pick!!”

      In the article Dan points out, in detail, that Knight is: smart, has great physical tools and can shoot.

      • Jun 24, 20119:14 am
        by Jason

        Reply

        You are right.  But also notice I didn’t include the negativity he includes.   Don’t get me wrong I enjoy both your articles.

        • Jun 24, 20119:23 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I like Brandon Knight. I like him a lot. But even I can’t deny that, despite my belief that he’ll turn into a very good player, the advanced stats from college aren’t kind to him. I think Dan’s just trying to point out that the excitement that he dropped to 8 is cool, but there is a legit reason for that drop. Remember, his freshman season had largely been considered a disappointment until he pulled things together late in the season and had a good NCAA tournament.

          • Jun 24, 20119:51 am
            by Jason

            I just don’t see the reason to knock him right now.   I am not a professional scout (and neither are you) so I can’t completly judge him yet.  So the most reliable source I can go off of is the Pistons staff right now.  And if you go watch the interviews with Dumars after the pick his words and even his body language is showing this was a great pick.  I trust Joe.

            I could care less if the pick is cool.  And I even care less about mock drafts.  Pistons got Knight and should be our point guard.  You should be excited along with the organization.

          • Jun 24, 201110:41 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “I just don’t see the reason to knock him right now.”

            Pointing out legitimate statistics and scouting reports that are out there and have been out there on Knight is not knocking him. It’s painting an overall picture of what has been reported about the kid during the last year. This is it, in a nutshell: (good) physically gifted, good shooter, intelligent. (needs to improve) consistency, turnover proneness, shot selection. Also, he did have a really wildly up and down season. Prior to the NCAA tournament, he was not considered a lock for the lottery. Then he had a good tournament run, his stock rose and four guys projected as top 8 picks withdrew from the draft. Had that not happened, there was a good chance Knight would’ve been back at Kentucky for another year. It’s fair to point those things out.

            “I am not a professional scout (and neither are you) so I can’t completly judge him yet.”

            First, no one “completely” judged him. Again, Dan judged him based on information that is out there on Knight from his basketball career TO THIS POINT. You don’t have to be a professional scout to read multiple reliable sources. Overall, reports on Knight have been positive. DraftExpress, Chad Ford, etc. are very good at what they do and it’s worthwhile to read the positive and negative things they have to say, not just say, “Joe Dumars likes him, so he must be awesome.”

            “So the most reliable source I can go off of is the Pistons staff right now.”

            No offense, but that is incredibly naive. It’s fine to consider what they say. They absolutely have smart guys scouting and in their front office. But they also have a vested interest in selling this guy as the second coming of Chauncey Billups, which is exactly what they are trying to do if you read their quotes. If you remember, they said a lot of similar glowing things when they drafted Rodney Stuckey. Would you say that all of the team’s projections of what Rodney Stuckey would be materialized correctly? Of course not. Because they only want to give you the absolute best case scenario, which is why it’s important to inform yourself with multiple sources.

            “And if you go watch the interviews with Dumars after the pick his words and even his body language is showing this was a great pick.  I trust Joe.”

            He’s an intelligent GM who has had successes and failures. He’s made mistakes. He’s said glowing things about every draft pick he’s ever made. Some have been good, some have not been good. I like Knight’s chances, but I’m not going to assume he’s a future star just because Dumars believes he is. There are plenty of other smart talent evaluators out there who have looked at Knight and have different conclusions than Dumars.

            “I could care less if the pick is cool.”

            I have no idea what this means. Are you calling Brandon Knight a nerd?

            “And I even care less about mock drafts.”

            OK … not sure what mock drafts have to do with this. People who want to become familiar with draft prospects read them. People who don’t care don’t read them. I’m fine with either group. The point of mock drafts isn’t to try and be 100 percent right. It’s to try and evaluate all of the information and misinformation being put out by teams, players, agents, etc. They’re often an exercise in futility. But they’re still an important part of draft coverage.

            But speaking of mock drafts, I totally nailed Isaiah Thomas to the Kings at pick 60.

            “Pistons got Knight and should be our point guard. “

            Right. Everyone knows this. I would go further than “should be.” He is the point guard.

            “You should be excited along with the organization.”

            This is not a site to do public relations for the Pistons. We’re not cheerleaders here. No one said Knight was a bad pick. In fact, the headline says he was the “right pick.” Dan and I are fans of the team, obviously. If we have biases, we’re both up front about in our posts. But we’re also journalists by trade. We’re not here to sit and say everything is sunshine and rainbows. We’re here to evaluate the team based on multiple things we look at and read. Saying that Brandon Knight has some specific areas where he needs to improve and pointing those things out, with data to support them, is not being unfair to Brandon Knight or the Pistons. It’s saying Knight is a talented young man who was the best player available at 8. Here are the positive and negative things that other informed sources, scouts, stats, etc. have to say about him. There is nothing in this post that Dan wrote that is being overly negative. It’s simply offering positives and negatives about a new, promising Piston. Look around the web. Every credible writer out there who covers the Pistons has written their analysis in the same basic way: ‘Here’s reason to be excited, here are potential pitfalls/things Knight will have to get better at/roster situations the Pistons have to fix in order to ensure he succeeds.’

            I mean, if a balanced pros and cons analysis of a player is too much for you to handle, just totally sit there and be satisfied that Detroit has the new Billups. I’d prefer to wait and continue with measured analysis as he develops though.

          • Jun 24, 201110:59 am
            by RandomGuy313

            Wow PH!! You are really bringing it today on the comment side. LOL

          • Jun 24, 201111:21 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            The draft is my favorite holiday. I could talk/write/debate about it any time.

          • Jun 24, 201111:30 am
            by RandomGuy313

            I think we will need a “jump” on your comments like the mock draft HAHA

          • Jun 24, 20111:04 pm
            by Jason

            Wow dude!

            I know I have be somewhat right to get a response like that from you.

            I think its safe to assume on a scale of 1 thru 10 I can give Dumars an 8 and you a 1 on basketball knowledge. Thats a FACT.

            Sorry if I feel Dumars is our greatest asset.  He is not God but he is the one watching hours on hours of these guys play basketball.  While you are sitting at home typing what he did wrong or what players we should take or not take cause some STAT makes sense to you. Or what Knight needs to improve on and shit like that.

            How is disagreeing about things you write on your website that everyone has access to, have anything to do with not handling pros and cons.  Can you handle being wrong?

            Journalists by trade?  Really?

          • Jun 24, 20111:25 pm
            by Jason

            Just wanted to make additional comment on you calling me naive. 

            First I don’t have a website to share all my views like you so you do not know where I get all my info.  I do my research buddy and take in all views.  Just because I reference someone who I conclude as being one of the best in the business makes me naive.  I just don’t get it.  Most successful people look up to other successful people. 

            Personally I just flat out don’t like you buddy.  I really don’t think you are that good of a nba analyst.  I think its wierd that you think the pistons are saying Knight is the second coming of Billups.  You really think they are trying to so force that issue or maybe its just the fact fans would understand the comparison. 

            Stuckey still has time.  You watch.  Then watch me make YOU eat your words.

          • Jun 24, 20111:56 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Jason, I’m going to do this one more time with you. If I didn’t think there were intelligent people in the comments here, I wouldn’t bother interacting. If I didn’t want to challenge my own opinions, I wouldn’t read the opinions of people who disagree with me in the comments here. I’ve had very good discussions here and elsewhere on the Pistons with people who hold very different views than my own. Ultimately, my goal is always to learn something and get better at what I do.

            Which brings me to your comments. They are always lacking substance, they are usually insulting or obnoxious and they are always confrontational. I don’t respect that and I also don’t have any problems calling it what it is. It’s loutish behavior. It’s thoughtless. It brings no value whatsoever to the discussion. You have no interest in making points, you have no interest in carefully considering the views of others to see where they’re coming from. You are here to play Mr. No-It-All. It’s pointless and stupid and not fun to read. So I’m going to refute some things one more time, then I’m going to move on.

            “I know I have be somewhat right to get a response like that from you.”

            No. In fact, the opposite is true. I generally only give responses like this when someone is 100 percent wrong.

            “I think its safe to assume on a scale of 1 thru 10 I can give Dumars an 8 and you a 1 on basketball knowledge. Thats a FACT.”

            When have I ever questioned Dumars’ basketball knowledge? When have I ever held up myself as smarter than Dumars? I have never said anything remotely resembling either thing, Jason. I do believe that there are scouts, writers, draft evaluators, etc., who have valid opinions that may sometimes not be the same as the opinions Dumars espouses. As someone who has watched, been involved in and covered basketball for a long time, I certainly have opinions as well, which I express. Expressing dissenting opinions, in the adult world where you don’t seem to live in your commenting persona, is not saying someone else is dumb or you are smarter than them. In this particular post, Dan expresses some legitimate reservations he has about Knight and backs it up with data. Nowhere does he say Dumars was wrong to pick him or that Knight is not a talented young player. Because he disagrees on certain points doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect Dumars’ talent evaluation or Knight’s talent.

            And further, if you rate my basketball knowledge a 1, that’s fine with me. You are free to go find writers you find more intelligent and read and comment in those places. No one forces you to read this site if you have a low opinion of the content. I certainly wouldn’t constantly show up and read people and annoy them in the comments if I felt like they were stupid. We’re either worth your time to read or we’re not. If you decide we’re not, no one is going to cry if you find somewhere else to hang out.

            “Sorry if I feel Dumars is our greatest asset.”

            Apology accepted.

            “He is not God but he is the one watching hours on hours of these guys play basketball.  While you are sitting at home typing what he did wrong or what players we should take or not take cause some STAT makes sense to you. Or what Knight needs to improve on and shit like that.”

            I don’t simply just “type.” I do, also, watch hours of basketball. Again, that doesn’t mean that I believe I’m a better talent evaluator than Joe Dumars. But don’t suggest I don’t put time into what I do. Basketball is and always has been my passion. I consume everything I can to help form my opinions. I watch games. I watched hours and hours of highlights of draft prospects online to try and better evaluate them when I was writing the Draft Dreams series. I read what a lot of other writers, coaches, scouts, etc. were saying about those prospects. Don’t insult me by suggesting I don’t put time into doing what I do.

            Where did I say that we shouldn’t have taken Knight? Where did I say that? You are making assertions throughout this comment that are not backed up by reality. If you are going to disagree with me, if you are going to make accusations, provide me with links to these things I supposedly said. How is it out of bounds, using this post as an example, to say that, “according to his stats, these are the areas where Knight was weakest last season.” Is that not something that smart basketball fans would want to be informed about? Again, tell me what is wrong with saying essentially Brandon Knight would be an amazing player if he shows growth in these key areas and the team works to put him in the best position to have success?

            “How is disagreeing about things you write on your website that everyone has access to, have anything to do with not handling pros and cons.”

            You reacted to a post that is essentially looking at Brandon Knight’s strengths, weaknesses and fit with the current roster as if it was some type of assault on the man’s character, as if it was completely inappropriate to do anything but write “Joe Dumars totally thinks he’s just like Chauncey Billups.” I thought your reaction was disproportionate and unfair, so I said so. When I said so, you went from disproportionate and unfair to looney. So pardon me if I question your ability to engage in rational dialogue.

            “Can you handle being wrong?”

            Yeah. I’m wrong all the time. In fact, I’ve written about the Pistons for about three years now. Every year, I’ve written prediction columns. Every year, at the end of the year, I’ve written follow up posts that say, “This is what I was wrong about before the season started.” I don’t expect that you’ve followed my entire writing career, but I’m not a guy who goes around spouting off controversial opinions and then never admits when those things don’t pan out. I certainly have opinions about things, but I’ve always been transparent about them. I would wager that people who have read my stuff for a while now have a good understanding of my biases, but also understand that if I write something that turns out to be stupid, I go back and fess up to it. I put thought, research and careful consideration into everything I write. It’s the opposite of what you put into the comments you post here.

            “Journalists by trade?  Really?”

            Yes. Really. I have a journalism degree and have been a reporter or editor for about 9 years now. Dan is also a professional journalist, though he’s not old like I am yet. The point isn’t to brag on careers (seriously … no one would ever brag about being a journalist). The point was to simply point out that, although we are fans, we do try and cover the Pistons with objectivity. I think the majority of readers appreciate that. If you want to just read positive spin and best possible scenarios about the team, that’s what Pistons.com is for. We try to have intelligent discussions and allow for varied opinions here.

            Seriously, this has been a tremendous waste of my time. There’s absolutely no reason for your reactions to posts to be, “Oh my god that’s so stupid.” Yet unfailingly, that’s how you conduct yourself all the time. Disagree like an adult. Present your own argument, one that is grounded in reason or facts or supported by something other than “I think you guys are idiots,” and I would wager that what you have to say would be respected a lot more and taken more seriously around here.

          • Jun 24, 20112:18 pm
            by Jason

            You are nuts dude.

            I post a comment once every 2 weeks or so.  If I was Mr. Know it all I would post way more than that. 

            I wish I could respond like you do quoting all my sentences but I just don’t have the time.  

            So you are diagreeing with me that Dumars is are best asset?

  • [...] Brandon Knight was the right pick, but far from a perfect one for the Detroit Pistons PistonPowered Good article about the pick. A little preview, but a lot more at the link. Quote: [...]

  • Jun 24, 20119:05 am
    by @DetroitBuckets

    Reply

    I’m typically in 90% disagreement with the majority or your posts Dan, but this is probably the best article you’ve ever written.

    Knight is a good player … but not a great one. And while it made sense to take him at 8, it doesn’t necessarily make us alot better. Honestly, a Knight/Stuckey combo isn’t really any better than a Stuck/Rip starting back court. It doesn’t win us any more games. He is more of a combo guard and less of a PG. Stuckey will probably still lead the team in assists. He’s not nearly as good of a shooter as he’s being billed. He’ll probably never be rated better than a top 15 PG in the league.

    But he is a good player. And I like that we have a young core to grow with in what should be our starting 5. I’m anxious to see Knight/Stuck/Daye/Jonas/Monroe go out and run in an uptempo fashion. There’s no superstar in that mix, but all are good young quality players. Exciting.

    • Jun 24, 20119:24 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Knight/Stuck/Daye/Jonas/Monroe”

      I agree with you. I don’t know that that lineup will win many games. But I will damn sure be more excited to watch it than any lineup they’ve put on the floor the last two seasons.

    • Jun 24, 201110:06 am
      by RandomGuy313

      Reply

      As of right now I think it is more Knight/Stuckey/Daye/Monroe/Wallace

      BG rotating in

      JJ Rotating at the 3 and 4

      CV at the 4 moving Greg to the 5

      We still need another big man as Big Ben should not exceed 26 minutes a night

  • Jun 24, 20119:35 am
    by RandomGuy313

    Reply

    DF I am not going to nitpick you on this article. I disagree with most of it, but I can understand where you are coming from. 

    Leading up to the draft I think it was clear that regardless of who we got there would be a chink in that persons  armor. If it were a big like Biyombo or Tristan their offense would be minimal, but they would be athletic and help defensively (I am guessing that people would be under the impression that the aforementioned bigs would log heavy minutes. I am not of that opinion; sorry for the tangent). What we did understand is that the person we got would be solid, not exceptional or elite, over the course of time and help the Pistons get out of obscurity. 

    I do not believe the hindrance angle with regard to Knights’ development.

    You have a couple options:

    If Stuck signs the qualifying offer or signs and extension; Knight should be starting day one with Stuckey playing off the ball. When BG comes in you push Stuckey to the point. As much as I like Bynum his minutes should be capped at 15 to 20.  

    If Stuck is traded or signs an offer sheet that isn’t matched; Knight at the 1 and Rip or BG logging minutes at the two. Bynum would get a few more minutes than the scenario where Stuck remains on the team.

    B Knight is going to struggle and make poor decisions, but his quiet reserve and high IQ will allow him to stay even keeled throughout the season and improve to a solid option for this team going forward.

  • Jun 24, 20119:37 am
    by Eric

    Reply

    I don’t think Daye will be starting for the Pistons.  There is going to be more moves made.  This is a rebuild and a process starting day one when Gores became the new owner.  And I think Knight and Stuckey in the backcourt will be very good defensively together.

    One team to to look at for a possible trade, Utah.  They have a jam at the PF and C positions, they aren’t going to be able to play Jefferson, Millsap, Okur, Kanter, and Derrick Favors.  Most likely they will be trying to move Jefferson or Misap.

  • Jun 24, 20119:56 am
    by RandomGuy313

    Reply

    @Eric: that may very well be the case, but we have to look at what we have on this team at the moment.

    I was devastated at Chicago picking up Jimmy Butler. I think he would have been someone that would have pushed ADaye and JJ for PT at the 3. With that being said, the Singler pick made me pause for a moment but it fits with what this team needs. ADaye and JJ are 3s that a PG would find after penetrating and kicking out to the corner. JJ, at this time, has a little more ability in the sense that he gets his nose dirty and can drive better than Daye.

    We needed a different look at the 3 to supplement this and Singler, in small portions, can provide that. He has a mid range game with the ability to put the ball on the floor.

    Macklin is just another body to spell the C, if he remains on the team. Give some fouls, rebound and play good post D. Anything more would be a bonus.

  • Jun 24, 201110:07 am
    by Reaction

    Reply

    I’m slightly worried we made a small mistake in taking Knight over Kemba even though he was projected higher. His stats aren’t the greatest plus his reaction to being drafted was not good at all. Ya I know he was disappointed in being picked later in the draft than expected but really now not smiling etc.
    This article made me think about it:
    http://articles.courant.com/2011-06-23/sports/hc-kemba-walker-nba-draft-0624-20110623_1_charlotte-bobcats-brandon-knight-mock-drafts

    Also I was looking at some footage of both Knight and Kemba playing and Kemba impressed me slightly more because of his shooting and slick passes.

    • Jun 24, 201110:18 am
      by RandomGuy313

      Reply

      @Reaction: I would agree with you on the trepidation at not choosing Kemba regardless. I think the shock for me is still there with B Knight dropping to us.

      I do not know much about B Knight’s ability to penetrate at will other than the bits and pieces I saw during the tourney. Kemba on the other hand displayed exceptional quickness and ability to finish at the rim all season. So it will be interesting to see their career arcs.

      **Side note should it be concerning in regards to Biyombo and Kemba being drafted by a Jordan team given the disappointments of Kwame Brown, Adam Morrison and Brandon Wright?

    • Jun 24, 201110:19 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I think everyone believes Kemba is the superior player right now. But Knight is younger and has more upside. We will just have to wait and see whether he fulfills his potential.

      • Jun 24, 201110:32 am
        by Reaction

        Reply

        I sure hope so because Detroit really needs him to. I was watching the Kings predraft workouts on youtube and Kemba (hit all his shots) showed more than Knight(missed 2 jumpers) did

  • Jun 24, 201111:02 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    I’ll hop in. I like how everyone in love with this pick points out it’s a steal. I wouldn’t have put Knight in my top 20, but nevertheless I have to figure out a way to get on board with this pick. I have to sit here and say he shot badly, but he’s a hard worker; he turned it over at a ridiculous rate, but he’s young; he doesn’t use his athleticism to create turnovers or drive, but he does have potential; he doesn’t pass it that well, but he is smart – you get the idea.
     
    And then I go look at the roster and wonder how he fits in. Knight would have to improve significantly from his freshmen season in college to be average in the NBA, let alone great. He would have to make monumental strides to become great, and we’re years away from even realizing that. As it stands a Knight/Stuckey backcourt is below average with the slimmest potential to become good.
     
    No looking back we have Knight, so now I want to see him play, because we’re committed to him. If we resign Stuckey and throw Knight off the bench to play Bynum’s minutes that’s fine for a start. Stuckey had a decent stretch at PG to end the season, and now we’ve stunted any growth he could have possibly made at that position. I was actually ready to give Stuckey another chance, but now I don’t have to. Now we just have to hope a 19 year old player with bad statistics in college can have good statistics in the NBA.

    • Jun 24, 201111:27 am
      by RandomGuy313

      Reply

      @neutes: I think you could make the same comments towards everyone in this draft:

      Kyrie Irving played only 11 games at Duke but he is the next Chris Paul
      Enes Kanter skilled big man but hasnt played in a year
      Tristan Thompson athletic big man that got to the free throw line but only shoots 49% at it
      Bismack Biyombo elite shotblocker and athlete, but has the hands of a tennis racket.

      Whether your board has him out of the top 20, the consensus was his potential warranted a top 5 pick. I would have been happy if Kemba was the pick if B Knight was not there because the Pistons need someone to facilitate and still be able to put the ball in the bucket when needed to. Knight has the potential to do that and I think, at his age, he has the mental acumen to handle the inevitable ups and downs he will experience in the NBA

      • Jun 24, 201111:41 am
        by neutes

        Reply

        Irving had phenomenal statistics, as did Williams, Thompson, the Morris twins, Faried, Leonard, etc.
         
        Even Biyombo or Valanciunas you could look at and pick out some phenomenal statistic that sticks out and shows significant potential.
         
        With Knight he wasn’t good at anything, He was average at nearly everything, and below average at others. He was a highly touted prep star that had a few clutch moments in the tourney, and now he’s the next great PG? Now he’s the steal of the draft? I just don’t buy it. Forgive me if I’m actually being objective, but players should be judged by what they did on the court, not some intangibles like being smart, going to a big time school, or being a highly rated recruit. As far as on the court goes Knight was average, but he was a freshmen, so we all better hope he has serious room for growth because he has a long way to go.

        • Jun 24, 20111:08 pm
          by RandomGuy313

          Reply

          @neutes: Let me preface by saying I will retract the top 5 pick as PH indicated Utah’s only interest was to fill a need. However, BK was still a consensus top 10 talent. 

          If you are assuming that I am calling BK a great PG or a steal because of the aforementioned comment sorry to mislead you, but those words were not written by me.

          I believe BK is a solid player, not great nor elite. Given that this draft is weak on all stars and heavy on rotational to starters, What I do know is that Kentucky was a heavy isolation and pick and roll team and given the cast of players we have on this team, bereft of post players, we will require his skill set to get people buckets. 

  • Jun 24, 201111:09 am
    by sop

    Reply

    Well is it to early to start looking at 2012?
    Top 12 Big Men prospects for 2012
    (rank, name, pick range)
    1. Sullinger (1-6)
    2. Perry Jones (1-10)
    3. Anthony Davis (1-5)*
    4. John Henson (6-12)
    5. Quincy Miller (4-13)*
    6. Zeller (10-17)
    7. Terrence Jones (7-16)*
    8. Thomas Robinson (10-18)
    9. James McAdoo (6-15)*
    10. Patrick Young (11-22)
    11. Joshua Smith (14-60)
    12. Mason Plumlee (16-28)
    * Possible SF/PF Tweener

    • Jun 24, 201111:33 am
      by Reaction

      Reply

      Honestly I think we should trade for a YOUNG big man instead of draft one

  • Jun 24, 201112:10 pm
    by DSV

    Reply

    Thank you @RandomGuy313!

    It’s an EFFIN DRAFT! DRAFT! DRAFT! (It’s a draft!!!!)

    My point is… it’s a draft! And in the Official NBA Thesaurus you will find synonyms for ‘draft’ such as ‘crapshoot’, ‘cross your fingers’, ‘sell yourself on whoever you pick even if he’s a mid 2nd rounder’. Great job in the article in summing up everyones views and to all of those knocking it… are you saying Mr. Feldman isn’t allowed to have an opinion?

    At this point I “care even less about mock drafts” and analysis – in the sense that nearly everyone on the board has flaws, and nearly everyone on the board is someone I could talk myself into as a Piston just because I get excited about the Pistons adding young players for minimal contracts.

    I’ve never been a big Hollinger fan on ESPN so I must say… reading advanced statistics about a 19 year old doesn’t mean much to me and that is my only wonder with the article. I don’t know that it’s even fair to compare players who played in different conferences, were of different ages, etc. The draft these days seems to be as much about potential and how well your organization can do to help mature these players along as anything (I’d prefer the Pistons worked on that part because, especially for this draft, it seems that the organization/situation is as, if not more, important than the selected player).

    Anywho, I’m happy with Knight. I think this article for a prospect like Thompson or especially Biyombo could’ve been written with a LOT more questioning; at least we have a freshman season and a big stage setting preview via March Madness for Knight. As for Kemba, even in this draft, I’d be a lot happier taking him in the mid to late first round. It doesn’t seem as though the ceiling for veteran college players is a lot higher than what they’ve shown in college. I’d rather cross my fingers and sell myself on Knight’s up and down frosh season and his Kalipari lineage (which I don’t care what anyone says, I’ll take that ‘statistic’ with as much credibility as any advanced shooting statistic) than Kemba’s solid resume but lower ceiling. Like I said before, I think the difference we’ll see between Walker and Knight’s (and even Irving – who is surely a step above talent wise, but not that big of a step) careers will have a lot to do with how well the organization handles them and what sort of situation they have to play in, perhaps more than any difference in their abilities at this moment.

    …Imagine if the Pistons have the next great NBA point guard!!! At least they’ll be an NBA 2k12 friendly team with some young exciting talent!

    PS: Any way Joe D can reduce the number of years I have to watch CV and BG in a Pistons uni, I’ll take it. Both seem like good guys, but need different situations to even come close to sniffing the value of their contracts.

    • Jun 27, 20115:28 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      DSV, I agree that Knight’s stats are far from a be-all, end-all. Like I said, I would’ve picked Knight, too. The stats are just to establish a baseline for how much he must improve. I think he will improve, but it would be foolish to act like the Pistons drafted a finished product. He was a freshman last year and played like it.

  • Jun 24, 201112:20 pm
    by DSV

    Reply

    I think part of the reason why the draft is so difficult is because guessing how a player will translate to the NBA is so difficult. Neutes certainly has a fair opinion about judging players based on their in court resume, but still… if that was the case, look up the NCAA Tourney’s Most Outstanding Player and that group should have a better NBA resume than what it has (as has been pointed out in the Draft previews/analysis that I’ve been taking to the face ad nausem the last few days). I don’t know if they were actually the most outstanding players, but look at guys like Morrison, Reddick, and others of the like who looked great as college players but didn’t have great NBA careers. Point is… NBA is a unique league that the NCAA cannot match, nor can most of the Euro Leagues, which is why the at first questionable approach of drafting based on potential is often taken. Don’t get me wrong, it is up to the organization to do a fair job of talent evaluation, but for a lot players… you just don’t know. Which is why somebody is being paid to try to translate Euro League stats to NBA stats. Can you believe that!?!?

    • Jun 24, 201112:34 pm
      by neutes

      Reply

      You’re assuming that being the outstanding player assures a player of being statistically good, which is not the case. Guys like Morrison and Redick scored a lot of points. Morrison was an efficient scorer, but he was a terrible rebounder for his height, didn’t pass, and was a horrible defender. Redick had terrible shooting percentages his first 3 years in college, but had a good senior season, although he too only scored, his peripheral numbers were pathetic.
       
      Kemba Walker won outstanding player, but if you look at his tourney statistics his teammate Lamb deserved more credit for getting that team to the championship than Walker did, but Walker was the poster child for that team. Being the outstanding player doesn’t necessarily mean you performed outstanding, it’s just a perception. That’s currently how I view Knight. The perception is he went to a big time school, was a big time recruit, he’s smart, he scored, and because of all that he’s supposed to be good, but the reality of his numbers don’t match the perception he could be good.

  • Jun 24, 201112:41 pm
    by DSV

    Reply

    Hahaha I’m just going by what guys like Adande get paid to study (he and others informed me of the Most Outstanding Player and their not so outstanding NBA careers). Don’t get me wrong I’m just saying big impact college players doesn’t mean big impact NBA players; forgive me but Reddick and Morrison were the only guys I could think of… let’s just say I had a long night last night). I really liked Lamb too! I want him in a Pistons uni! We need more long skinny wing players, let’s hoard them all!

  • Jun 24, 20111:04 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    I say trade:

    Max & Tayshaun to Sac for dalembert or NExt year round 1 pick (unprotected)

    Rip & Max to Utah for Jefferson or for next years round 1 pick (unprotected)

    Bear with this losing season. (still no post defense unless there’s a Re-ReBenaissance).

    Have 2 picks next year, draft Sullinger and Henson OR Anthony Davis and Henson if we can’t get Sullinger.

    • Jun 24, 20112:05 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Vic, that first trade would be hard to work out since Prince and Dalembert are both unrestricted free agents. Both would have to agree to sign and trades. Prince would have to want to go to Sac (maybe he would since he is from Cali, but I’d bet Clippers would be his first choice since they’re a lot better team) and Dalembert would have to want to come to Detroit.

      The next complicating factor is money. Sacramento is broke. I don’t know why they’d want to invest in a limited veteran like Prince, who has shown the last few seasons that he’s incredibly unhappy on young, rebuilding teams, and take on Maxiell’s contract rather than simply let Dalembert expire and then not spend the money.

      As for the second trade, I doubt Utah has much interest in Hamilton anymore since Jerry Sloan is gone and they just took a two guard, Alec Burks, in the lottery. Burks should get big minutes. And no way they’d take Maxiell’s contract or trade their pick next year. They might do a Hamilton for Jefferson swap (contracts are relatively the same, but Hamilton’s final year isn’t fully guaranteed) if Detroit included a sweetener like a future first rounder or Austin Daye or something like that.

  • [...] Dan Feldman of Piston Powered, preaching realism about Brandon Knight and expectations for [...]

  • Jun 24, 20117:40 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    my two (hundred) cents, if anyone is still reading: the people shitting on this article may have a legitimate gripe. i think dumars has NO IDEA how lucky he just got. every bit as lucky as last year when monroe fell into our laps. feldman obviously doesn’t realize it either. hayes, i get why you’re jumping to the defense of the article, and maybe these people haven’t done a suitable job explaining their problems with it, but if any of these people had the same problem with it that i did, it’s a legitimate gripe.

    this draft was basically perfect, and there’s no need to have a shred of disappointment. joe gets a pretty damn safe pick at a position of greater need than he would ever have admitted. i think knight instantly makes this team better than, say, biyombo would have. there’s an element of truth to needing good weapons for a point guard to excel, but a point guard is supposed to make everyone else better. good point guards have overachieving teams.

    biyombo would have made us better defensively, but he’s a flawed and incomplete player. it’s not like he played two ways. hell, he may have made us worse offensively. that basically means he’s not an actual answer up front. i consider knight an answer at the point. smart, hard-working, good shooter, good passer, plays both ways. he’s got the potential to be our point guard for the foreseeable future. biyombo doesn’t have a lick of offense and may be as old as 23, which would mean there may not be all that much room for improvement. he’d help get stops and finish defensive and offensive possessions, but unless he emerged as an absolutely dominant defensive force he’d be another piston who’s basically defined by his flaws rather than his strengths. and we have plenty of those. pair him with monroe, and where’s your offense? you thought we were a perimeter-dominated jumpshooting team before??

    as it is, i’m suddenly excited about this team’s potential and the potential of individual players. i wonder how good rip or charlie or even stuckey could be with knight distributing.

    plus, if we’d drafted big, chances are we make little or no change to the backcourt, since everyone’s value’s been destroyed by the logjam. now joe basically has no choice but to move a guard, something he should have realized was necessary before the draft but would have ignored at all costs. and since he drafted a smallish guard, i think he’d have a hard time trading away rip instead of gordon, and gordon is the guard we needed to move anyways. can you imagine a backcourt of stuckey, knight, gordon and bynum?? they’re so small you wouldn’t be able to see them on the court.

    i’m not entirely convinced biyombo or tristan thompson would have made this team significantly better than it was last year during the stretches when chris wilcox was at his best. and that’s not that exciting to me. this team needed to fill holes, not fill the roster with more flawed, one-dimensional players. we didn’t expect to be great next year anyways, so we’ll address the front court then. there’ll be much better options anyways.

  • Jun 24, 20117:50 pm
    by p

    Reply

    Dumars’ comment was about Knight’s perimeter shooting and if you look at the quantity of shots he put up from distance “3-point percentage: 12th” of 22 does not do Knight justice. Dumars is correct that Knight should be a great shooting point.

  • Jun 26, 20114:55 pm
    by specialkd24

    Reply

    I understand some thing Knight is not a “true” point guard.  He is more of a scoring point guard (like Kemba).  I’m a Kentucky fan so I saw Knight play every game last year.  You are getting someone who is smart both brain wise (4.0 in high school and college) and basketball IQ wise.  He did struggle at times last year, playing with a very “green” UK team.  But when his team needed him to make a big play, he did. Penetrated and scored on a unorthodox shot against Princeton (a shot he changed on the way up so it wouldn’t be blocked) and then sent tournament favorite Ohio State home with a cold-blooded dagger.  If Detroit surrounds Knight with some good players, he’ll be fine.

  • Jun 26, 20115:07 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    I think Dumars misspoke about the credits.  He had 60 at the end of the semester.  But that is not even germane to this topic.  As for the stats Mr. Feldman used, I think it is laughable to use stats and stats alone to say “he wasn’t very good at playing basketball”.   What a colossally stupid thing to say.  How many of the guards that finished ahead of him in that list faced the competition that Knight faced?  How many were playing the in the Final Four?  How many set a record for freshman scoring at the school with the most wins of all time?  Does the writer know that UK lost 8 players off last year’s team?  8!  Pretty much the top 8 too.  So that means, Knight came into a situation where he was leading a group of players that had no history with each other.  No cohesion.  And he had to lead that team against a Top 10 strength of schedule.
    That’s not to say he doesn’t have weaknesses, or that he didn’t struggle during the season.  What freshman doesn’t?  Also, I don’t disagree with using statistics to analyze players.  But to do so in lieu of actually watching a large number of his games, or putting his stats in context, it just makes you look silly.

    • Jun 27, 20115:32 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      You’re making excuses for why Knight didn’t play better (competition, age, teammates, players lost), not actually claiming he played well. I never said there weren’t legitimate reasons Knight didn’t play better.

  • Jun 26, 20116:50 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I’m a Kentucky fan and a Pistons fan. I watched pretty much every second of every Kentucky game last season with Brandon Knight as the starting point guard. The season started shaky. He got his pocket picked on cross-overs, took bad shots, made bad passes but he worked hard and got better. By the end of the season, a lot of the bad shot selections were gone, his passing had improved, he was truly the team leader, and I don’t think I have to mention that he took games over in the post-season. I personally did not think that he was NBA ready quite yet. I thought another season in college would have served him well. However, with a weaker draft it made sense for him to go and get paid. The kid is smart, he is a natural leader, he can stroke it for sure and he will definitely work hard to improve wherever he needs it. It will take a couple of seasons for him to get comfortable and be a competitive point guard in this league. I think the article is dead on.

  • Jun 26, 20117:13 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    A few stats that I don’t think were mentioned

    Brandon Knight set the single season scoring record for a freshman at Kentucky with 657 points. He led the team in scoring which had 4 (nearly 5) players averaging double figure scoring per game. I believe someone mentioned this earlier but I do believe it is worth mentioning again. Brandon Knight was the leader of a team that rotated 7 players on a good day (only 6 that really contributed) and made it to the final four as a four seed after winning the SEC tournament and beating the likes of Ohio St. (number one overall seed – Knight hit the game winning shot with seconds left), West Virginia (Knight had 30pts), North Carolina, and falling one point short against UCONN. The kid played against the best teams and proved that he could lead a team (an undermanned team at that) to a win. It may not have always been pretty but I enjoyed watching him just as much as John Wall or any other played to ever wear Kentucky blue. I promise you will love this kid.

  • Jun 26, 20117:25 pm
    by Anthony

    Reply

    LOL at this article and some of the comments. Ya’ll are lucky to get a player like Knight. What’s all this crap about him having an up and down season? He absolutely ripped the nets from treyvile virtually all season and he came up clutch time and again. I will give it to ya that he is turnover prone, but that is pretty much expected from a freshman pg. Brandon Knight is gonna be a star. I’m a UK fan and I was relatively happy to see him drafted by the Pistons as opposed to him having to play at Toronto or Cleveland. But some of you guys on here simply don’t deserve a player like this. One final thing I will say tho, is, that I would love to see what he could be at the 2 spot. JMO, but I think he might very well be a better shooting guard than point.

  • Jun 26, 20118:48 pm
    by Mack

    Reply

    If you think that Knight is that bad why not suggest a trade with Utah, maybe Knight and Prince for some combination or all of  the following : Jefferson, Milsap, draft choice.

    • Jun 27, 20114:52 am
      by nekk

      Reply

      i love to see that happen, just to see what Knight can do on the floor since they had time in the gym with each other for a year.  I also think the stats here do not really reflex, the condition and where Knight put up his numbers.  What I am saying is that when teams played Knight and Kentucky they bring their A-game to the floor.

  • Jun 27, 201111:31 am
    by Aike

    Reply

    I haven’t read through every comment, but I want to touch on the efficiency stats.  Kentucky had zero bench last year, basically playing 6 guys all season.  I am certain that Knight’s per minute efficiency would have been much better if he had played 28-32 minutes per game, instead of playing virtually the whole game night after night.
     
    Add to that the fact that Kentucky’s secondary ball handler was a freshman 2 guard (Lamb) and you had an extremely overworked freshman in B.K. with no legitimate back-up.
    You guys are getting a trooper.  He is cold-blooded, and will work his tail off.  He isn’t as flashy as Kyrie Irving, but it wouldn’t shock me if Knight has a better career.

    • Jun 27, 20115:34 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      You’re making excuses for why Knight didn’t play better (fatigue, teammates), not actually claiming he played well. I never said there weren’t legitimate reasons Knight didn’t play better.

  • Jun 27, 201111:42 am
    by nekk

    Reply

    Let’s be fair and only compare the first 8 games and the last 4 games for each of the top 3 point guards in this year’s draft.  I say these games since it would only be fair for Irving since those are his only games played.  And this that would not be fair for Knight since Kentucky player better teams during that time.  So what i am really saying is your stats do not mean much if you do not go back and compare each players and during each games.  You are lucky to have knight, if you do not want him please, please trade him to the Jazz.

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