2011 NBA Draft Combine Coverage: Brandon Knight Worth Third Overall Pick? - June 2
It has been well publicized that the 2011 NBA Draft is bad; historically bad like Dana Carvey's movie Master of Disguise. And while Kentucky freshman point guard Brandon Knight had a great freshman season, it is hard to hard to believe that he is worthy of being the third-overall pick by the Utah Jazz like many 2011 NBA Mock Drafts are projecting.
Knight played an integral part in helping Kentucky reach the Final Four this season. He led the team in scoring, assists and three-pointers, but he is hardly a sure thing once he gets to the NBA.
"I think I've proven myself on the court," Knight said at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. "The most important thing for me is to just work hard and keep having good workouts."
The Utah Jazz hold the third overall pick and most mock drafts project Knight being the pick since they need a backup for Devin Harris as well as a capable scorer at guard. But there are certainly some questions regarding Knight's transition to the NBA.
For starters, Knight turned the ball over at a high rate, averaging 3.2 turnovers per game compared to just 4.2 assists. He exclusively played the point for the Wildcats but is far from a proven floor general and could actually play some two guard at the next level due to his ability to shoot the basketball.
"I feel I can play both positions," Knight told me. "But I see myself as a point guard."
Knight's decision to turn pro was not surprising especially since Kentucky has highly touted point guard recruit Marquis Teague joining the fray next season. Teague's addition likely would have pushed Knight to play more two guard next season which may have stunted Knight's development some in becoming a true point guard.
"Once I made my decision, I didn't want to waver on it," Knight stated. "Once I made it, that was it. I love Kentucky and the fans there, and the coaching staff."
Knight now becomes the next in line of John Calipari-coached point guards who will enter the league with high expectations; carrying the torch previously held by Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and last year's top overall pick, John Wall. Following in the footsteps of that trio might be daunting to some, but not Knight.
"I think that pressure is more so at Kentucky. What the Kentucky fans expected knowing who had come before me. Just people who have watched Coach Cal's guards from before and what they expected. I think pressure was more so then than now."
While it might sound like I am hating on Knight, that is not the case at all. I think he will be a solid pro given the time to improve his point guard skills especially in the half court. I just think there are better overall prospects available with third pick in the 2011 NBA Mock Draft.
In fact, I have Kemba Walker ranked higher on my point guard rankings but since Knight was a more consistent outside shooter than Walker in college, it makes the former Wildcat point guard a better fit with the Jazz who need a point guard who can stroke it from distance since that is not Harris' strength. I also think former Kentucky commit Enes Kanter is a better prospect than Knight, but the Jazz need guard help more than they need size, which is why they could pass on the Turkish big man.
Like current Jazz post player and last year's third-overall pick Derrick Favors, Knight will need time before he becomes an impact player in the NBA. When you are taken that high, even in a weak draft class, that is what will be expected of Knight.
@Black&Gold Problem is that you see Eli and Cobi as solid backups. Truth is that Eli is number 2 and Cobi is our number 3. They aren't backups, but starters. So what you're saying is that we have no true number 2, but see no need in drafting a receiver? What D line depth are you thinking? DE or NT? Have you seen what LT Walton has done? Remember he's only in his second year.
@Steelr Fan 3:16 Coates was supposed to be plan B at number 2 with the uncertainty of Bryant. You make the case that he's a one trick pony and not a 50 catch per season wide-out, so does that scream out as a option for number 2? What gives you hope about Green? I hope he does end up staying on the field, but so far in his career he hasn't be able to do that. I like James, but if he goes down you trust Grimble? He can't block, and hasn't been reliable in the pass game. He did mess his ribs up with a nice touchdown reception a few weeks ago. That still doesn't mean he can pick up and be an impact if James would not be able to go. We have 7 picks in this draft. The first I hope goes OLB. We are good at CB with Burnes and @[email protected] will be challenged hopefully by Golson. Loser of the battle would be a good slot corner. Golson lacks length so they may throw him in the slot role anyways. LT Walton has been more than solid at DE. If Heyward or Tuitt can't go a few weeks during the season then I have faith in LT to get the job done. I like Chickillo and Moates at OLB. They have started and played solid. Williams and Dirty Red at backup ILB is good depth that any team would love. Safety we have Golden and Dangerfield. Both have started any didn't miss a beat. Offensive line? Yeah, we're good there. You say we're good at tight end and WR, so with or final 6 picks we're going what exactly? A RB would be nice with Williams age. A backup that won't see the field unless God forbid Bell gets hurt is a wasted pick anywhere in the top 4 rounds. Maybe 5th would be suffice. That's 2 picks gone and 5 to go. A backup QB of the future would be nice. Four to go. A special teamed lol? Warren, Boswell, and Berry are really good.
Mock I have been developing in various iterations. Did a trade, and was drafting based on data I've gathered via watching college games, NFL games, reading mock drafts, and my own internal evaluations. Please, feedback is always welcome.