According to Sam Amick of Sportsillustrated.com, Brandon Knight has received an open invitation to compete against Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette and Malcolm Lee at a June 15 workout. And apparently, according to sources close to both sides, he has yet to accept the invitation.
As mentioned by Amick, there are “rumblings” that Utah is not impressed with the possibility of Knight refusing to compete against the likes of Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette, and this could potentially lead to the Jazz passing on the Kentucky point guard.
In Knight’s defense, his hesitation to accept the invitation is likely the result of his agent’s advice considering Knight is currently the man to beat and has nothing to gain by competing against Kemba and Jimmer. That being said, I advise one not to judge Brandon Knight’s willingness to compete by this one example.
Nevertheless, this report gives Raptors fans a glimmer of hope that Brandon Knight, who I see being one of, if not the most successful prospect to come out of this year’s draft, will fall to the fifth pick.
Kemba Walker is an excellent consolation pick for Toronto, but Brandon Knight is the real prize to be had for the Raptors. In addition, if Utah does in fact decide to pass on Brandon Knight for the reason mentioned above, they would still have several solid options with the third overall pick, namely Jan Vesely, Enes Kanter or even Kemba Walker if they have their heart set on a point guard.
At 19, Brandon Knight is two years younger than Kemba Walker and has only played one year of college ball compared to Kemba’s three seasons. In his three seasons, Kemba Walker showed steady improvements in points per game, rebounds per game and in his assist per turnover ratio, not to mention he nearly single handily led his team to an NCAA championship.
However, Brandon Knight’s numbers in his first year of college ball are far better than those put up by Kemba Walker in both his first and second seasons.
What does this tell me about Brandon Knight?
If he was to play another two seasons of college ball, he is on pace to put up similar or better numbers than those put up by Kemba Walker this past season. Brandon Knight will take two or three years to reach his full potential, but when he does I am convinced that he will surpass Kemba Walker.
And when we look back at this draft about three years from now, we will be glad the Raptors went with Brandon Knight instead of Kemba Walker…Assuming Utah lets him fall to the fifth overall pick.