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Brandon Knight ranked has having sixth-most upside in rookie class

ESPN’s David Thorpe ranked NBA rookies “if they reach their full potential,” and Brandon Knight placed sixth:

Knight may be the only rookie who wishes his season wasn’t coming to end. He’s been eye-opening good in April. Detroit’s "shoot-first" point guard wasn’t making shots early on, but he has slowed down and is now making shots with ease. It’s easy to see him becoming one of the better scoring and shooting point guards in the league, all while being a solid assist man who rarely turns the ball over.

When Knight was a freshman at Kentucky, I saw him as similar to Chauncey Billups, and that’s still where I see Knight going. He’s played basically 300 more minutes than any other rookie this season — a fact that should provide him with a huge number of reference points that will help him and his coaching staff create a summer workout plan. Knight, who is known for his tireless work ethic, and Greg Monroe will likely be the core that helps return Detroit to relevance.

I agree with Thorpe’s rationale, but I think his ranking of Knight is a tad high. Thorpe has Bismack Biyombo and Enes Kanter below Knight, but I think both big men, if they reach their full potential, would be better than a fully developed Knight.


  • Apr 19, 20124:19 pm
    by Daye and Knight


    I think after Irving, Farried, Jonas, Brooks Knight has a legit shot at 5. Kanter could be solid but I can see already Knight is showing flashes of his potential in the past week that makes me believe he has a very bright future. He was north of 5 assist outside of yesterday’s game and scoring 20+ in 3 of his last 5 games. He’s got speed that should help him finish at the basket better if he improves on fast breaks and he can knock down three’s with ease, the sky is the limit for BK7. My honest opinion…Thorpe was close to dead on when it comes to ranking their potential and if Knight reaches that potential I can see him averaging 19 and 8 with 2 three’s a game in a couple of years

    • Apr 19, 20125:45 pm
      by tarsier


      I definitely don’t see Brooks as having more upside. His ceiling is maybe Stephen Jackson. Nor Faried, his whole deal was that he was a safe pick, but not a huge upside guy. That’s the entire reason he was picked so late in spite of the fact that his all-rookie first team level production is not int he least surprising.

    • Apr 19, 20126:47 pm
      by Mark


      How does Faried have the 2nd most upside? He’s a 6-8 rebounder, thats it. IMO, he’s probably already reached his full potential or close to it. Players like him have big impacts when they first come into the league, but then thats usually who they are the rest of the career and don’t get much better.

      To me, its Irving 1, Knight 2. Hard to say Kanter/Biyombo have higher upside, because we haven’t really seen anything from them but a big game or two from Biyombo. In other words, I have to see more than a couple good games to count that as their potential. Even scrubs have big games here and there, that doesnt mean they are capable of ever playing at that level consistently.

      Knight has had enough big games this year to say that he could realistically play at that level consistently once he reaches his full potential.

      I’m not sold on Brooks either. I think he’s decent, but I could easily see him end up like Nick Young.

      I honestly think we’ll look back and say the Pistons got the 2nd best player in the draft.

      • Apr 19, 20127:42 pm
        by tarsier


        I fully agree on Faried. But there’s no way Knight has more upside than Valanciunas. Also not as much as Williams. I’d even put Vesely’s higher even though pre-draft I was, and I continue to be, quite anti Vesely. He has big time upside that I don’t think he’ll ever approach.

        • Apr 19, 20127:59 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Valanciunas isn’t in Knight’s rookie class, though I agree he has more upside.

          • Apr 19, 20129:26 pm
            by tarsier

            Oh, I was thinking draft class.

      • Apr 20, 20124:44 pm
        by Mike Payne


        I could not disagree with you more about Kenneth Faried. He’s having one of the most productive rookie campaigns of this century. He’s recorded the second highest per minute win share score and the third highest PER in this century.


        Unlike the two guys ahead of him (who averaged 36 and 38 minutes each), Faried accomplished this in 21 minutes. If he was drafted by a poor team who could give him 36 minutes a game (ahem, us), he’d have out scored Chris Paul and out-rebounded Blake Griffin in their respective rookie seasons. This guy isn’t close to his ceiling, given that he has not yet scratched a starter’s burn.

        Give Kenneth Faried a solid 36 in a starter’s role, and watch him put up 16 points, 12 rebounds, A steal and a block and a half next season. How many players have done that in their second year this century? None. Do not. Sleep. On Kenneth. Faried.

        • Apr 20, 20126:36 pm
          by tarsier


          He looks like a rich man’s Taj Gibson.

      • Apr 23, 20126:01 am
        by Ben


        Faried has been the biggest steal of the draft, has performed outstandingly despite playing for a coach who famously likes to leave his rookies on the bench. true fact. Faried is averaging more minutes that ty lawson did in his rookie season. Kenneth faried missed about 20 games this season because G.Karl decided not to play him. if you watch faried play you’ll see his potential. I’d like to say he is a dennis rodman type player, but recently i think he could transofrm into a better player, as his offense/ft has improved greatly compared to his senior year in college

  • Apr 19, 20126:17 pm
    by RussellC


    I respectfully disagree that Biyombo and Kanter have higher ceilings than Knight. Knight can be a difference maker in a playoff series at some point.

  • Apr 19, 20127:16 pm
    by Bygdygod


    Biyonbo at his full potential is Ben Wallace. Kanter is Marc gasol. Knight is Deron Williams Take your pick from there…

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