2011 NBA Draft: 5 Reasons Brandon Knight Will Play for the Utah Jazz
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The franchise now has the tedious job of leading team workouts for draft prospects, holding interviews, and making the final decision on who they will draft on June 23 in Newark, New Jersey.
One of the hottest names for the Jazz right now is Brandon Knight. Standing at 6'3", Knight plays the Point Guard position on the floor. He averaged just under 18 points and five assists in his freshman season for Kentucky University.
In the last few seasons, John Calipari (Head Coach at Kentucky University) has sent talented guards Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, and John Wall into the league through the draft. Who's to say Brandon Knight won't be the next great guard drafted out of Kentucky? Take a look:
5. Knight's Character
The Utah Jazz requires more of their players on the court, and off the court, than any other organization in the league. High character is essential while playing in Utah. The Jazz's late owner, Larry H. Miller, strove to build his franchise on the basis of good values, professionalism, and morale.
Brandon Knight expresses these traits and would like to play in Utah. During an interview, Knight said this:
“I wouldn’t mind going there,’’ Knight said of living in Salt Lake City. “It’s a great city. They always have a great group of guys. I want to surround myself with a good group of guys. I like the things Utah is about. I’d enjoy going to Utah.’’
The Jazz need another motivated, young point guard to lead the team in the right direction. Enter Brandon Knight.
4. Young and Restless
Brandon Knight is only 19 years of age! John Calipari's "one-and-done" point guards have all been very young and very motivated. His age will allow him to have a higher ceiling than other draft prospects who will be up for grabs.
Knight weighs in at 185 pounds. He has a nice physique, but can still grow into his body a bit more. Combining the skills that he already has and his young age makes for ridiculous potential! If the Jazz give him time to develop, he will turn out to be an elite point guard in the NBA. His age and potential are another reason many scouts and analysts are predicting that he will be drafted over UConn star, Kemba Walker.
The Jazz roster has actually taken a turn for the better with the Deron Williams trade. They now have a strong core to build a team for the future with Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap, Jeremy Evans, two lottery picks this year, and possibly a lottery pick (8-14 via Golden State) next year. Brandon Knight complements these players very nicely, fills a role at point guard, and his personality fits with the Utah Jazz.
Brandon Knight worked very hard during his NCAA season under head coach John Calipari. He carried his team through the tournament and hit a few game-winners along the way. Knight understands the importance of listening to your coach. That's an invaluable trait to have as a basketball player. Because of that, Knight will have opportunities to achieve greatness.
The Utah Jazz recently hired head coach Tyrone Corbin to replace the legendary Jerry Sloan. Brandon Knight's "coachability" will be a great asset for Corbin as he rebuilds his team and inserts a new style of play for Utah.
Knight has the ability to score, but has the ability to become a great passer.
Just one more reason he's looking better on the draft boards than classmate Kemba Walker, who will always be a score-first, undersized point guard.
2. Bigger = Better?
In a league dominated by bigger, athletic guards, Brandon Knight has the opportunity to prove himself. Knight plays with determination, strength, and quickness. His chiseled physique gives him an edge on defense and more options on offense.
The Utah Jazz have repeatedly said, at the end of the regular season, that defense must, and will, improve for next year. Knight has the talent and athleticism to be a weapon on the defensive end, something the Jazz haven't had in a while at the Point Guard position.
Brandon Knight weighs about 10 pounds more than Kemba Walker, and has four inches on him. For that reason alone, I believe the Jazz will choose Brandon Knight any day over Walker.
Brandon Knight has more potential than any other player in the draft. This being said, I honestly believe he is a hybrid of Deron Williams and Chris Paul. Not quite as athletic or big as Deron, but has the smooth jumper and speed of Chris Paul while being heavier and taller than Paul. Not quite as polished offensively as Deron, but plays Chris's style of stifling defense.
If Knight puts in the hours and learns the trade from Devin Harris, he will be one of the best point guards in an NBA of the future.
Moreover, not only does Brandon Knight have potential, but the entire Jazz team as a whole also does. Adding an elite point guard for the future and gaining pieces such as Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward to go along with him gives this organization a sense of excitement. Knight will open up the front court so Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap can dominate like they should. He will give hope to the fans and motivate the players to achieve their playoff status.
I can't wait to see Knight's rise to the elite, and I surely hope he'll be able to do it in a Jazz uniform.