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Brandon Knight falls to No. 12 in redone draft, Pistons pick MarShon Brooks

David Thorpe of ESPN redid the 2011 NBA Draft:

No. 8 pick: The Pistons select MarShon Brooks

No. 8 pick in actual 2011 NBA draft: Brandon Knight

With Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon on Detroit’s roster, any rookie guard would have to share time. I like Knight a lot, but Brooks fills a bigger need and has just as much upside (more downside, too, though).

Brooks has the look of someone who can be a top-two scorer for his team, and he’s also a willing rebounder and defender. He’d be a nice fit next to Stuckey.

With Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Enes Kanter, Derrick Williams, Jonas Valanciunas, Kawhi Leonard and Bismack Biyombo off the board, who would you take in a redone draft? I lean toward Brandon Knight, but Sean Corp of Detroit Bad Boys makes a compelling case for Kenneth Faried or Nikola Vucevic.

As far as Knight, he fell in the redone draft:

No. 12 pick: The Jazz select Brandon Knight

No. 12 pick in actual 2011 NBA draft: Alec Burks

The Jazz and their fans love a focused, mature, hardworking player perhaps more than any other NBA city. Knight oozes with potential, lives to get better on the court and is a great fit into how Utah likes to play

Thorpe has Knight No. 22 in his rookie rankings, so Thorpe obviously likes Knight’s upside.


  • Mar 22, 20121:09 pm
    by vic


    faried would have been nice, but Knight made Stuckey better and gordon expendable. Plus the PF/C market is waay better this year. I love Faried, but even with him we would need a shot blocker with 7 foot length. On the perfect team Faried and Monroe share PF minutes, and Monroe & McGhhee share C minutes

  • Mar 22, 20121:39 pm
    by frankie d


    disagree strongly.
    brooks would be a horrible fit, imho.
    he’s a skinnier stuckey without the handle and even less court vision.
    knight’s positives and his progress has not been shown in the pure numbers that guys may look at.
    he’s really just learning how to run a team and while he doesn’t do it always, we see tantalizing hints of how good he might become.  brooks just doesn’t have that same kind of potential.
    i’d stick with knight.

    • Mar 22, 20121:51 pm
      by RationalSportsFan


      Agreed.  Saying Marshon has more potential is mind-boggling to me.  Knight is struggling A LOT and is still playing just about as well as Marshon, who is NOT really struggling much.  Who would I rather have for this season?  Well, definitely the more polished, veteran Marshon.  Who do I want for the next 3-8 years? Knight, no doubt.

      • Mar 22, 20122:58 pm
        by Mark


        Why do ppl get this impression that Knight is struggling? It seems very prevalent online.

        Yet he’s 2nd only to Irving, in total pts, asts, and rebs. THAT is struggling?

        • Mar 22, 20123:42 pm
          by RationalSportsFan


          By “A LOT” I mean he has a bunch of games where he struggles (though of course those are combined with great games he has).  A large reason he is 2nd only to Irving in those totals is that he plays WAY more than the average rookie.  His rate stats aren’t nearly as impressive as his counting stats.

  • Mar 22, 20121:41 pm
    by RationalSportsFan


    Thorpe’s article is very short-sighted, seemingly mostly judging players on just their rookie seasons and ignoring all previous scouting reports.  Is it really that shocking that guys who played for 3-4 years in college like Faried, Parsons, and Brooks are doing better right now than Knight, a guy everyone recognized was a bit of a project (super-talented, but still a project)?
    Who do you think you would rather have in 3 years, Knight or one of those other guys?

  • Mar 22, 20122:17 pm
    by vic


    yeah we definitely dont need brooks. knight was the patient route, faried would have been the quick fix, but made us a much better team this year leading to a lower draft pick in the best draft in the past few years.

  • Mar 22, 20122:26 pm
    by sebastian


    Knight is a future All-Star. That Thorpe dude doesn’t what he’s talking about.

  • Mar 22, 20122:51 pm
    by Mark


    Thorpe lost all credibility here with this one.

    I’m guessing he hasn’t paid any attention to the Pistons this year and seen how great Stuckey has flourished since moving to SG.

    Because to suggest Brooks, who’s not even as good a player as Knight, would be a better compliment, when it would force Stuckey to play out of position, just makes no sense.

    I keep seeing Knight ranked 8-12 in all these “experts” lists, yet he has been 2nd in ALL rookies from the 2011 draft in Total Pts+Asts+Rebs all year, behind only Irving.

    How they heck do you rate him that low, when he’s statistically better than than every other player but Irving? These guys who make these lists are idiots.

    • Mar 22, 20124:28 pm
      by oats


      No, Knight is not having a better statistical year than all other rookies not named Kyrie Irving. At least not if you use advanced stats, which often do a better job explaining what is happening. He scores 97 points per 100 possessions, which is below average. He makes up for that by taking a lot of shots, 11.5 per game, and connecting on only 40% of them. 40% isn’t terrible, it isn’t all that good either. He also only takes 2.2 FTA per game, which isn’t good. His offense is also hampered by the fact that he turns the ball over on 16.5% of his possessions. That is bad for a point guard. He only assists 20% of his teammates field goals while he is playing, which isn’t that good. Stuckey is assisting on 23.9% for comparisons sake. Knight is an inefficient player, and that really does hurt his value.
      Faried and Leonard are clearly out performing Knight this year. I think Derrick Williams might have just taken a step up, due in large part to Minnesota finally having some idea of how to use him, and I think he will have a stronger second half of the season than Knight. Williams also has been playing better since moving to PF, and PF is a harder position to fill than PG. Knight is outplaying the Thompson, Kanter, Biyombo group, but again, those guys are PFs or Cs. There is a premium on big men in the NBA, so they go higher. Valanciunas has been pretty great in Europe, and again, he’s a big man. Plus, Knight has another demerit on his record. He’s 6’3″ tall, and all evidence thus far suggests that he isn’t the kind of passer most teams would want playing the point. I have serious doubts about how successful Knight would be playing next to a SG without Stuckey’s PG skills. Stuckey does an awful lot to cover up for Knight, and becoming a passer when it isn’t a natural part of your skill set is tough to do. Given that few teams have starting SGs that are perfectly capable of being a backup point guard, Knight projects as an undersized SG to most teams. In that case, he would most likely be a 6th man for many teams.
      By the way, people keep saying Knight is the PG and Stuckey is the SG, but I’m far from convinced. Assists, turnovers, assist %, and turnover % are the key stats that separate PGs from SGs. Stuckey is outperforming Knight in every single one of those categories. Plus, watching the game, it seems like Stuckey and Knight initiate the offense pretty much evenly. In short, I don’t think either of them are really playing the point, they are just out there being combo guards. I really don’t think Stuckey would be negatively impacted if he had to be primarily the point guard and his back court partner was just a decent passing SG.
      As for Brooks specifically, I don’t think he’s a terrible fit in Detroit. he has shown signs of being a decent passing SG, and if he was playing next to Stuckey he’d be asked to use that skill set a bit more to help make up for Stuckey’s inadequacies as a PG. Brooks also has a good back to the basket game that will improve quickly as he adds strength. Knight’s game won’t benefit as much from adding strength, and that helps keep Brooks in the discussion when comparing their respective potential. Brooks is a nice player, but I do agree that Knight is a better fit in Detroit. I think Knight has more range than Brooks, which helps open things up for Stuckey. I also prefer Stuckey not having to try to be the primary point guard even though I don’t think he’d be significantly worse in that role. Knight and Stuckey have also already proven they work well together, and there is no reason to think Brooks would mesh with Stuckey so well. Still, since PG is a much deeper position league wide than SG, it seems like Brooks is more likely to become an All Star than Knight. Then again, thanks to Knight, Brooks has Stuckey ahead of him in that position.

  • Mar 22, 20124:36 pm
    by Max


    Knight is being treated horribly by the national media in general.  The ranking is a joke and a good reason to dismiss Thrope’s opinion in general.   He’s probably another Pistons hater.

    • Mar 22, 20125:09 pm
      by RationalSportsFan


      It is basically always silly to accuse a national writer of hating your local team.  If you think he is wrong, that is fine, but the wrongness never comes from irrationally hating your team.  Fans of every team think various writers hate their team.  It’s just not true.

      • Mar 22, 20126:51 pm
        by Max


        I’m a New Yorker and student of the league’s history going most of the way back.  In modern times, (read the David Stern era) the Pistons have been the closest thing to the league’s villains since the days of Isiah and Laimbeer in terms of marketing with the exceptions of Grant Hill and Joe Dumars.
        Even the short term celebration of team when the 2004 group won was swiftly contradicted by the change in rules which hurt the Pistons and Spurs more than any team at the time and were in favor of isolation players–the league previously had actually passed a “Laimbeer” rule. The echoes of “they were the one team that won without a hall of famer” and later bullshit comparisons to team’s like the Bills further evince the prejudice.  I actually heard national commentators say on the air on numerous occasions while talking about their repeated trips deep into the playoffs that they had never won.
        The travesty of Isiah not making the dream team or ever even getting MVP consideration while the league has since crowned Iverson, Nash and Rose MVPs–all of whom inferior players whose teams did not win championships is another great example.
        This negative representation in the media might also account for the contradiction in that while the Pistons have been one of the league’s greatest franchises in modern times in terms of winning, they have never in their entire history attracted a highly coveted free agent.
        For instance, when Dwayne Wade was going through the drafting process, he declined a workout with the Pistons even though they held a higher pick than where he was drafted.  He even voiced his reasoning that he hated the Pistons.
        Another part of the slant is that there are many youngish writers now who grew up as Bulls fans and therefore do hate the Pistons.  This also sometimes applies to writers from Boston and New York or really anyone who was influenced disproportionately by the Jordan era.
        On the Knight issue.  I am of the opinion that if Knight were on nearly any other team, the fact of his having started so many more games and having played so many more minutes and thus having actually produced so much more than a lot of the players ahead of him would not be getting glossed over.   This is a lockout season and most of these players have played sporadic minutes or have missed games.  Even Derrick Williams is basically just getting a pass.  I can tell you that I’m in five fantasy leagues and everyone owns and plays Knight and Williams is a free agent in 2 or 3 leagues.   They make excuses for him and say he has so and so in front of him.  Well, Knight basically uprooted Stuckey and put Ben Gordon on the bench.

        • Mar 22, 20127:02 pm
          by Max


          Another example was when they instituted the new technical fouls leading to suspension rules and people called it “The Rasheed Rule” and RIP was finishing 2nd in techs every year.

        • Mar 22, 20127:14 pm
          by tarsier


          Wow, you should play fantasy with smarter managers. Knight has been around 150-200th all year long in fantasy value. He puts up decent counting numbers but he is too inefficient. The only league I am in in which he is owned is a 14 team, 20 players per team league.

          Also, Zeke not being MVP or realistically in the conversation was not a travesty. It was just a matter of timing. His prime coincided with the end of the primes of Magic and Bird and the beginning of Jordan’s prime. Compare him to Dwyane Wade, a comparably talented player (I won’t argue who is better but they belong on the same tier). Wade never has been nor will he ever be a serious MVP candidate. And it’s not a travesty. He just happens to have been in the league at the wrong time.

          • Mar 22, 20127:20 pm
            by Max

            I only play deep leagues where at least 180 players or so go off the boards, but your leagues are hardly average since Knight has been 100 to 95 percent owned in all ESPN leagues all year.

          • Mar 22, 20127:24 pm
            by Max

            Barkley and Malone won MVPs when Jordan was the man.   It’s prejudice that kept Isiah from being the media darling that interrupts the steady stream of MVPs the actual best player should receive.  Wade will not get consideration in all probability moving forward because of circumstances–having LBJ as teammate0–Isiah’s circumstances were actually good for getting the MVP since the Pistons won two titles and went to three finals in a row amongst five conference finals appearances in a row and was perceived as the team’s best player by far.

          • Mar 22, 20127:28 pm
            by Max

            The MVP itself is a yearly hype job that depends little on who the actual best player is.  Bad timing is not a good argument.

          • Mar 22, 20128:10 pm
            by tarsier

            Yeah, ESPN fantasy uses slightly different categories and standard formats than Yahoo, which is what I play. Now, even in those, Knight is more than 50% owned. But that is because of stupid managers. There are always better options available. But people hang onto him because of his counting numbers and forget his efficiency.

            I don’t know what Knight’s ranking is in ESPN. And either way, fantasy rank isn’t the point. Because that is where getting more minutes really goes a long way. But the point is that Knight has a lot of potential but his play is hardly stellar yet.

            About the MVP thing, yeah, and Rose won when James was in his prime. Sometimes, a guy gets lucky and catches the favorite’s off-year. Or the year that the media is sick of giving him MVP. But no, timing is not a bad argument. Wanna know why? Because what year should he have been a serious MVP candidate? His best statistical seasons were 1983-87. Only won of those years did Detroit even crack 50 wins. And just barely then.

          • Mar 22, 20128:20 pm
            by Max

            Rose won because of Chicago’s record and not his stats.  Isiah could have won during any year the Pistons had close to the best record.

          • Mar 22, 20128:38 pm
            by tarsier

            Wrong, Rose won because of the Bulls record and his stats (otherwise why not Taj Gibson?). But most importantly, Rose won because both he and his team massively exceeded expectations.

          • Mar 23, 20121:14 am
            by Max

            What have expectations to do with winning MVP?

            The only expectation was that LBJ was not going to win no matter how much better he was than anyone else.  Combine that with the notion that we have somehow arrived at a historical epoch where the MVP must be selected from one of the top 2 seeds in either conference no matter how much better someone playing on a 3 or 4 seed is like Dwight Howard.  Sure, Durant is much better than Rose, but he has Westbrook.  Rose isn’t a good defender?  Nash was a terrible defender and he won twice in a row.
            Who cares about defense?  Who cares that the Bulls are a great defensive team whose defensive numbers improve when Rose is off the floor?  

            Rose’s win was a hype job, through and through but it’s not that big a deal because his win was just one in a series of travesties that have destroyed the meaning of the award for me at least.

          • Mar 23, 20126:39 am
            by tarsier

            What do expectations have to do with MVP? Nothing, according to any definition. But a lot, when it comes to voting. To win MVP without exceeding expectations, a player must be incredibly dominant. Basically, exceeding expectations garners favorable attention and makes people want to reward the player. That is how they lead to more MVP votes.

      • Mar 22, 20126:57 pm
        by Max


        I love Bill Simmons but read the chapter on Joe Dumars in his “The Book of Basketball” and tell me whether he hates the Pistons.

        • Mar 22, 20127:04 pm
          by Max


          And yet another current example is the incredibly slow but growing appreciation of Monroe’s game.

          • Mar 22, 20127:11 pm
            by oats

            When has Bill Simmons really claimed to be impartial?

          • Mar 22, 20127:17 pm
            by Max

            He never has, but to come out with a book of basketball where you rank players and title a chapter 74. Joe Dumars/73. Sidney Moncrief before writing about why the hall of fame needs to be blown up because Dumars is in and others are out and basically say nothing of insight or interest about Joe Dumars while not treating any of the other plays in the “pantheon” of the 96 greatest players in similar fashion is bullshit and reveals a deeply felt prejudice.

          • Mar 22, 201211:14 pm
            by RationalSportsFan

            You realize basically every team except the Celtics can say the same thing about Simmons, right?  I honestly can’t believe you really defended your “the national media hates the Pistons” viewpoint so much.  Downright silly.  There are fans of 29 other teams who say the same thing.

          • Mar 23, 20121:05 am
            by Max

            There are fewer teams that you can count on one hand that can demonstrate the bias with as many examples as the Pistons can and in my mind, no team, and I am fairly familiar with all of their histories.

          • Mar 23, 20121:06 am
            by Max

            And you are wrong about Simmons too.

  • Mar 22, 20125:56 pm
    by tarsier


    Knight is a project player and he plays like one, flashing brilliance and incompetence almost every game. I would consider Faried over him, but no way would I rather have Brooks. It is easy to come by a Marshon Brooks. They are a dime a dozen. Besides, how does Brooks go ahead of Isaiah Thomas and Klay Thompson? All three have played at a similar level when given minutes, but Brooks appears to have a lower ceiling than Thompson and less grit/heart/determination/work ethic/whatever the heck you wanna call it than Thomas.

  • Apr 14, 20127:22 am
    by leveltheone


    the lesson in all this is people dont watch the games, knight struggled early with turn over in the last 30 plus games they have went down and his ast has went up along with steals. Franks system often takes night off the ball and makes him the designated 3 point shooter why? because he is the best on the team! all year he has shot around 37-38% for 3′s, which explains whhy his FT numbers are lower no rookie has started more games than Knight and only Irving averages more minutes. brooks plays with the 2nd best PG in the league, and faired,leonard,williams and parson play are 3rd-4th options on their teams, they can have a big game and then vanish for 2 oe 3 games and no one cares. isiah thomas is the only excpectation but the king play an up  and down game, kyle thompson has just started to come on in the last month he has fresh legs, Knight has been push physically all year….

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