Detroit Pistons season preview: Kevin Knox is a worthy reclamation project

In an NBA obsessive about tall, perimeter-based wing gamers, the 6-foot-9 Kevin Knox unearths himself suiting up for the 3rd franchise in lower than one year. Knox’s profession so far is certainly one of tantalizing doable that has so far long gone unrealized. Taken with the 9th variety within the 2018 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks envisioned a international wealthy in 20-point performances from a heralded Kentucky product.

While Knox has cracked the 20-point mark a large number of occasions in his four-year profession, he’s executed so with out consistency and, extra importantly, with none semblance of potency. The loss of total steadiness in Knox’s nightly performances is a core explanation why the younger ahead unearths himself at what may well be his ultimate NBA prevent within the Motor City.

Inking a two-year $6 million contract this previous August, the previous Wildcat is simply the newest “reclamation project” of Detroit Pistons GM Troy Weaver. In every of his 3 offseasons on the helm, Detroit’s lead govt has proven a willingness to herald failed lottery choices within the hope they are able to thrive in a new atmosphere.

This is a blank slate for Knox. He’ll be given a likelihood to salvage his profession in spite of his first 4 seasons were a flop. For his section, Knox has the kind of talents that Detroit can use, and he may trade the narrative arc of his profession.

Or, you understand, he may now not.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Atlanta Hawks

Photo by means of Scott Cunningham/NBAE by the use of Getty Images

Know Your Role, Kevin Knox

Below are 3 objectives the wiry ahead may purpose for coming into 12 months 5 as a professional.

Maximize his taking pictures prowess

At this degree of his profession, Knox’s maximum profitable ability is his perimeter taking pictures. Standing at 6-foot-9 with a excessive unlock level, Knox is in a position to fireside off jumpers over the league’s longest defenders. When assessing his stroke, the whole thing seems excellent from the acquire to unlock, however there’s one slight factor — the shot incessantly doesn’t cross during the basket.

Through 212 outings, the previous 5-star recruit has shot a sub-par 34% from 3 on 3.3 makes an attempt in step with recreation. Knox has eclipsed a 35% clip simply as soon as when he shot 39.3% (2.1 makes an attempt) again within the 2020-21 season with the Knicks. For a participant who supposedly makes a residing from in the back of the arc, those numbers don’t seem to be gonna paintings.

While the full taking pictures numbers are missing, Knox has displayed a knack for draining nook treys. In the previous two seasons mixed (2020-2022), the 23-year-old has transformed 48.4% (30/62) of his nook seems:

Kevin Knox Shot Chart | 2020-2021 & 2021-2022 Seasons

While the above shot chart is scarily infested with purple zones, there’s without a doubt Knox is a sniper from the NBA’s shortest three-point distance.

It’s additionally price noting that striking apart an abbreviated 17-game stint with Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks, Knox has been saddled with some horrific level guard play. In 3.5 seasons with New York, 32-year-old Derrick Rose is arguably the most efficient level guard with which Knox has shared the ground.

Utilize his intriguing body defensively

Other than scoring potency, Knox’s loss of defensive integrity has been the principle consider proscribing the younger ahead’s mins the previous 3 seasons.

At the 2018 Draft Combine, Knox measured 6-foot-9 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan. In phrases of construct, he has the perfect body for protecting each ahead positions in as of late’s NBA.

However, problems provide themselves when Knox seems to shield on-ball in ball-screen movements. Our very personal Bryce Simon of Motor City Hoops detailed Knox’s boundaries as a defender:

An encouraging side of Knox’s defensive play will also be observed in his talent to acknowledge and execute on-time rotations. While he’s now not going to disrupt the passing lanes (0.4 steals in his profession), Knox will also be relied upon as a staff defender alongside the baseline.

If Knox may glance to flaunt his wiry body looking for chaotic disruption, his worth at the defensive finish would simplest upward thrust.

Develop some type of two-point scoring assault

The aforementioned objectives of three-point taking pictures and protection are what’s going to make or ruin the younger wing’s enjoying profession. For the 3rd and ultimate function, I assumed it will be price exploring Knox’s talent to attain inside the arc.

To date, Knox has been ghastly from 20 ft and in, taking pictures a paltry 39.2% on two-point box objectives. While he turns out destined to battle completing on the rim, Knox has proven a glimmer of hope as a man growing off a sole dribble. Per, the Florida local has made 12-of-19 two-point box objectives when taking pictures off one dribble.

With his nook three-point taking pictures talent, Knox’s scoring features may receive advantages immensely from a talented one-dribble pull-up, specifically in close-out eventualities:

Another house Knox may search to get pleasure from is off-ball cuts to the rim. It’s an street of scoring the four-year professional has infrequently tapped into. Playing along high-IQ playmakers in Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham, and Ivey will have to supply plentiful alternatives for Knox to profit from defenders who “over-help.”

In abstract, if Knox can proceed to supply nook marksmanship, there’s a international the place he can give spot mins as a stretch 4. But if he’s any likelihood of cracking the rotation, he’ll wish to dedicate severely to the defensive finish.

If he can reach those spaces, there’s doable for Knox’s $3 million staff approach to be prompted within the 2023-24 season. In flip, making him Weaver’s maximum a success reclamation project.

Leave a Comment