It’s been an odd season for the top flight Kentucky prospects, the team failed to gel, until late in the season, and it’s seemed to have affected their NBA hype.
|Kentucky||Tampa, FL||18||6’9”||7 ¼”|
In this case, Knox was yet another five star recruit that headed to Kentucky hoping to boost his NBA resume under John Calipari. He was ranked as a top ten player in his class coming out of high school. Even though Kentucky fell out of the top 25 rankings for a large part of conference play, Knox was still able to show that he can step up when his team needs them. This team found themselves down double digits more than any Calipari team since he took over, and that’s when Knox would try to make something happen. That’s a good sign heading into the NBA. He won’t be asked to be the face of a franchise out the gate, but he could make a name himself for being a spark plug early in his career.
The biggest strength that catches my eyes, is his ability to get to the front of the rim, and explode to the basket. He either gets fouled, or puts up a shot with a high chance of going down. Knox went up against a few proficient shot blockers this season, and he didn’t back down. He jumped, and hung in the air, pressuring rim protectors. Obviously that’s a huge plus for a prospect in today’s NBA. Any perimeter player with this ability earns himself some minutes. For example, Jeff Green has an offer every free agency period. Knox, for whatever reason, doesn’t look as athletic as he is. He gets Tobias Harris comparisons, but I think he has more bounce than the former Buck.
Knox can finish above the rim, and his shooting form looks fairly pure. He has everything you need to be a stretch four at the NBA level. He’ll need to add some muscle and pounds, but everything else is there. Like many five star recruits, the offensive game is there to develop, if his name carries weight at the next level, it’ll seemingly be from him averaging 20 a night. That’s how you get the most out of the young man so far, ask him to make plays on that side of the floor.
I wasn’t able to compliment much more than his scoring profile in the strengths category. I don’t think he’s necessarily deficient elsewhere, but scrolling through his ESPN game log, if he wasn’t scoring effectively, his total minutes went down. As I already said, this Kentucky team didn’t gel until late in conference play, it’s possible there were behind the scene attitude issues we aren’t privy too, but I think it comes down to who he currently is as a player.
I don’t think steals and blocks really indicate how good a player was on defense at the college level. The game is so congested, with entirely different defensive schemes, against entirely different offensive schemes. That being said, if Knox had been more prideful on that side of the floor, his athleticism could have helped him protect the rim, and jump passing lanes. It just wasn’t happening consistently enough. Many young players being asked to carry the load offensively, subconsciously conserve their energy for the offensive end. “I need a little burst left for the fourth quarter.” He can certainly improve on how he dishes out his energy, but a lot of young players have died on this hill.
Role on Bucks:
First of all, I don’t think there’s any chance he falls to Milwaukee at 17. He profiles as too prolific an offensive talent to fall out of the lottery, unless someone goes through his twitter and finds something offensive he said in 2008. Milwaukee doesn’t have too many assets to move up in the draft, but theoretically, Knox’s talent would be worth trading up six spots to obtain. The team needs a difference maker now, it’s possible they could bet on a talent like Knox.
You’re going to see this comparison every time you read a Kevin Knox profile by a Bucks writer. He could step in and play the Jabari Parker role off the bench. There are a lot of similarities in their games, I think Jabari has a more talented offensive skill set, but Kevin Knox hasn’t torn his ACL, and comes at a lesser price for the next four years. This Milwaukee team could certainly use another wing player with the ability to score at all three levels, but there should be an option with raw talent left at 17 for Jon Horst. As much as many fans think rookies should be good immediately, or be shipped off, that’s not how the Bucks are running the team. It’s for the better in my opinion, they spent a lot of years picking the best player available. The best teams in the NBA draft for talent. The Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings draft best player available. I think the Bucks can add another young player with upside at 17, without giving up a future first round pick. Given they already shipped outa future first round pick for Eric Bledsoe, I’d prefer to take whomever has the most talent at 17.