Suppose both Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight are available at the Sacramento Kings spot. Who do the Kings pick?
The Kings are full of youth. Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Marcus Thornton (assuming he re-signs) make a formidable youth movement. Adding Walker of Knight to the mix would make the Kings an up-and-coming team in the near future.
But does one fit the Kings better than the other?
Walker is a pure scorer. He doesn't have tons of range but can create on his own. Walker truly is a bad shooter but part of this can be attributed to being his team's only option up until the later part of the NCAA tournament when Jeremy Lamb emerged. Walker was able to distribute the ball and hold onto the ball better this past season, which should be seen as a sign of maturity considering he was faced with the other teams' top defender most nights.
Kemba single-handedly led the UConn Huskies to the 2011 National title. Going on a 13-game winning streak in two single elimination style tournaments is nothing to scoff at. He had his jersey retired while still an active student. That never happened before in UConn's history and they have had some greats including future Hall of Famer Ray Allen.
Brandon Knight is basically the same type of player is Walker except younger and more inexperienced. Knight can score and came to Kentucky expecting to be the lead dog. With a group of freshmen to lead Knight often tried forcing play and turned the ball over at a rate of 4.7 turnovers per game through his first seven games.
Knight can score and he learned to be more of a point guard towards the end of the year in the SEC and NCAA tournaments, but shot an abysmal 33 percent. This can be chalked up to youthful exuberance or maybe Knight, like Evans isn't a real point guard.
To be effective both will have to improve their shooting and will have to back off as a lead scorer especially on a team like the Kings who have two young scorers already.
Walker is probably a better fit short-term, if only because he understands the need to not carry a team on your own and learned to trust his teammates towards the end of the NCAA tournament where Knight did not do that as well.
Long-term, if Knight can continue to show improvement like he did throughout his first season at Kentucky, he may be able to put the pieces all together and follow Rajon Rondo as the next great Kentucky point guard.
I'd pick Walker because he's a proven winner. And I'm a UConn guy.
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