Prospect Preview: Kevin Knox

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider
@chrisadempsey

KEVIN KNOX, F, KENTUCKY
Class: Freshman
Ht: 6-foot-9
Wt: 215 pounds
2017-18 Stats: 15.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 apg

HOW HE OPERATES

Kevin Knox was about as decorated a freshman as there was in the NCAA last season. He was an Associated Press honorable mention All-American. He was the co-SEC Freshman of the Year with Alabama’s Colin Sexton. He was a first-team All-SEC selection and an all-SEC Freshman team selection.

And right off the top, NBA scouts salivate over the size he brings to the league. At 6-9 and 212 pounds, he’s got an NBA-ready body. And as he moves around the court, it becomes even more apparent. Defensively, he gets a good hand up to contest almost any shot. Offensively, he can get to the basket through contact.

Still, he’s a work in progress. Knox has the ability to hit threes, to get to the rim, to finish with floaters and other crafty shots – he just doesn’t do any of those things to a consistently high level as of now. Off the ball, he’s a tireless mover – more like a shooting guard than a small forward. Think: Klay Thompson in that respect. Kentucky ran him off of a ton of screens to get midrange jump shots and 3-point jump shots. In transition, he’s able to finish but turned the ball over a high percentage of times. He’ll also improve at finishing at the rim. Overall, as an offensive player, Knox has the potential to be a big-time scorer.

On defense, he gave good effort. He flew out to open spot up shooters. He stayed with ball handlers getting to the rim. Kentucky switched a lot of screening action on the perimeter – so we know he can guard multiple positions, but we don’t know much more about his ability to play well in pick-and-roll coverages that don’t switch. He’ll get a team some steals, but isn’t a high-volume steals player.

HIS BEST FIT

Knox’s best fit is on a team that could use some additional scoring, but doesn’t need to lean on him for it. He is versatile enough to play in an up-tempo or mid-tempo system. He’ll be a bear in half-court offense once his shot-making gets up to speed.

Christopher Dempsey: christopher.dempsey@altitude.tv and @chrisadempsey on Twitter

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