Kevin Knox NBA Draft 2018: Scouting Report for New York Knicks' Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 22, 2018

Kentucky's Kevin Knox shoots during the second half of an NCAA college basketball quarterfinal game against Georgia at the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday, March 9, 2018, in St. Louis. Kentucky won 62-49. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The New York Knicks have selected Kevin Knox in the 2018 NBA draft with the No. 9 overall pick.

He won't turn 19 years old until August, making him one of the youngest upcoming rookies. Knox still averaged 15.6 points to lead Kentucky, showcasing scoring versatility and combo forward potential that's intriguing for today's positionless NBA.

   

Quick hitters

Size: 6'9"

Weight: 213 pounds

Wingspan: 6'11 ¾"

Reach: 9'0"

Pro-player comparison: Kelly Oubre Jr. 

  

Offensive strengths

Knox has excellent size for a perimeter player. He scores without needing many dribbles working off the ball. 33.2 percent of his offense came out of spot-ups, where he was best pulling up into jumpers (82nd percentile) or taking runners (80th percentile). Knox also shot 46.6 percent off screens, showing the ability to curl around them, gather and fire off movement. Knox was extra efficient on cuts, finishing 15 of 17. He was inconsistent as a shooter, but he still looked comfortable from beyond the arc, having made 57 threes in 37 games at a respectable 34.1 percent clip.

   

Offensive weaknesses

Knox did little creating on the ball, finishing just 4-of-18 in isolation opportunities all season. He was also almost a complete non-passer with an 8.7 assist percentage (1.8 assists per 40 minutes). Knox wasn't automatic in transition, ranking in the 49th percentile. If his jumper was off, so was his overall game. Knox tends to think he's a guard. He'll settle for tough jumpers, and he can get reckless with his shot selection and decision-making (2.8 turnovers per 40 minutes).

   

Defensive outlook

Knox's length and feet are promising. They should allow him to guard both forward positions. But he struggled with physical bigs inside, and he wasn't always locked in guarding the perimeter. He wasn't quick to react, averaging just 1.0 steals and 0.3 blocks per 40 minutes. Knox's 1.4 defensive plus-minus ranked eighth among nine Kentucky rotation players. He'll have work to do to maximize the potential tied to his advantageous mix of size, long arms and mobility. 

   

Rookie-year projection

Knox shouldn't be counted on for regular minutes as a rookie. He's too young, unpolished and underdeveloped physically. He could be in line for DNPs, though he'll eventually have chances during garbage time or when rotation players go down with injuries. Expect flashes, just not consistent production.

   

Projected role: Starter

Knox will have three full seasons under his belt before turning 22 years old. By then, he should be ready to take on a starting role after becoming a sharper scorer and capable defender. His feel for the game would have to change for Knox to bust through his ceiling. Otherwise, he appears on track to become a regular scoring threat, though more of a complementary, off-ball No. 3 or 4 option. 

   

Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports and Sports Reference. Measurements courtesy of the 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Related

    X-Rays Negative on Lonzo's Ankle

    NBA logo
    NBA

    X-Rays Negative on Lonzo's Ankle

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Fultz Returning to Philly for Rehab

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Fultz Returning to Philly for Rehab

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Which Rookies Are Future All-Stars?

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Which Rookies Are Future All-Stars?

    Jonathan Wasserman
    via Bleacher Report

    Updated Power Rankings: Here Come the Warriors 👀

    New York Knicks logo
    New York Knicks

    Updated Power Rankings: Here Come the Warriors 👀

    Grant Hughes
    via Bleacher Report