Former Kentucky stars Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have officially moved on as NBA players and have likely solidified starting positions with their respective teams. You’d be hard-pressed to find two other players that performed better in the summer league than the No. 9 and No. 11 draft selections.
Knox finished the NBA Summer League averaging 21.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game for the Knicks.
The boos on draft night are slowly turning into cheers for Kevin Knox. pic.twitter.com/VtRtPmXKUm
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 13, 2018
Gilgeous-Alexander, on the other hand, managed 19 points, 4.75 rebounds, four assists, 2.25 steals, and a block per contest for the Clippers in the summer league.
Clippers got a good one with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Has all the ingredients to be the best PG from the 2018 draft class (excluding Doncic). Tools, touch, almost always makes the right play, high intangibles. Still shocked he went outside the top 10. pic.twitter.com/aLJULbhLea
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) July 7, 2018
They were the two leading rookie scorers, outperforming some of the biggest names in the entire event.
And if you ask Gilgeous-Alexander, Knox’s dominant display was exactly what he was expecting coming out of college.
“It’s the same Kevin I saw day in and day out, but with the NBA spacing and better players around him,” Gilgeous-Alexander told The Post at Thomas & Mack Center. “It’s only making him better. I expected this from Kevin. I knew he was a really big talent and things like this were going to happen to him.”
According to his former teammate, the skilled 6-foot-9 forward’s potential is through the roof.
“Kevin has the ultimate potential. You see it at summer league. He can play multiple positions. I think his game fits today’s NBA.”
When it came to Knox’s NBA team fit, SGA said Knox wanted to go to a program that fit him the best and desperately wanted him.
“He wanted to go to a program that wanted him as much as he wanted them,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “That was the Knicks.”
Neither player is flashy, and they weren’t as hyped up as some of Kentucky’s past stars coming out of the draft, but there’s a chance one of them wins Rookie of the Year next season.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hooped tonight. Should've had 3-4 more assists if guys were hitting shots/finishing at the rim, but that's okay.
He's undeniably the best PG in the 2018 Draft. I don't need to hear any other suggestions.
— Steven Barnhart (@HWHoopsCentral) July 9, 2018
Two major markets in Los Angeles and New York, and both former Cats can be the face of each of them in the very near future.
Not too shabby for a guy fans booed at the draft and another that came out of high school as a four-star, top-40 prospect.