Good old Mike DeCourcy must have kept a grudge after BTI refused to capitalize the C in his last name, as it looks like Mike has gone and picked Brandon Knight as one of his “5 risky NBA Draft picks that could go bust.” While studiers of the draft seem to disagree with DeCourcy – with Chad Ford saying Knight has all the tools to be better than Kyrie Irving – each man is entitled to his opinion, so let’s see what Mike has to say.
On Brandon Knight:
Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky. What is it, exactly, that turned Knight into a likely top-5 pick? John Wall-type athleticism? Doesn’t have it. The strength of a Derrick Rose? That, either. The playmaking wizardry of Jason Kidd? Huh-uh.
Knight is a capable shooter but not extraordinary. He has good size for the point guard position, but we’re not talking about Magic Johnson or Penny Hardaway. Knight is 6-3, 185. Deron Williams has him by 22 pounds.
Talk to coaches who’ve opposed him, and they’ll tell you Knight has almost no use for his left hand. If a defender sits on his right hand, Knight can’t cross over and drive in the opposite direction.
The past three point guards to play for John Calipari at Memphis and Kentucky were Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall, so it might be that some are expecting that magic to continue as if by osmosis.
Well I’m not going to go all BTI and deconstruct Mike’s snippet, but I will disagree with it. Maybe Knight doesn’t have quite the John Wall athleticism – but he’s got a much better shot and is just as fast.
Deron Williams? Well he’s 26 right now, and was about 9 pounds lighter when he was drafted. Still bigger than Knight, but it’s not like size isn’t something a strength coach can’t fix.
Knight can’t go left? Maybe he prefers to go right, but looking at a few highlight packages from last year and I’ve already found a number of shots he drove past his defender to the left – or finished with his left hand.
I can understand those that might be wary of Knight if they want to draft him to play a pure point – he is more Brandon Jennings (who happens to be 6’1″ and 170 pounds for those keeping track at home) than Jason Kidd at this point. There is probably something to the idea that you don’t want to be ‘learning your position’ in the NBA. But Knight is one of the smartest players in the draft, and if any one can learn how to change their game in the NBA, it would be Knight.
But even if he doesn’t, he still won’t be a bust.