Kevin Knox was ranked a 5-star prospect by Scout, Rivals, ESPN, and 247 Sports, landing no lower than 9th and no higher than 7th in his class on those same sites. In high school, Knox was named the 2017 Florida Mr. Basketball and was named to the 2017 McDonald’s All American Team and the 2017 Jordan Brand Classic. Highly touted coming out of school, Knox picked Kentucky over Duke, Florida State, Missouri, and North Carolina.
Knox had a pretty successful freshman season personally, even if his team, the Kentucky Wildcats, did not. Knox started all 37 games for the Wildcats in 2017-2018 and was probably their second best player behind their other potential lottery pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Leading the Wildcats with 15.6 points a game, Knox shot 45% from the floor, including 34% from behind the arc. Knox was named First Team All-SEC along with All-Freshman Team and Co-Freshman of the Year honors, sharing the latter award with Alabama’s Collin Sexton.
Even with Knox’s success, the Wildcats were in a bit of a down season, only going 10-8 in the SEC, until they won the SEC Conference Tournament. Kentucky rode that victory to a 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament and an eventual defeat at the hand of Kansas State in the Sweet 16.
Knox is 6’9” with a 7’1/4” wingspan, which could create match-up issues for the opposing team. Kevin has the NBA shot mechanics down, and displays that with how easily he drives to the basket and uses the floater in traffic.
You can also see in the short video above how well Knox moves off the ball and creates on offense.
Like several other top 10 prospects, there’s questions about Knox’s motor. There were 7 games throughout the 2017-2018 season where Knox scored in single digits, including two 1-9 from the floor performances. While I listed his shooting percentages at the top, that wasn’t meant to be a compliment. Knox will have to improve on this to compete at the next level. Kevin is also not particularly quick either, which could be an issue since he’ll mostly be guarding opposing 3s and 4s that will be quicker than him right out of the gate.
Fit With The Grizzlies
The potential Knox has as a scorer and role player is kind of diminished by his lack of speed and court vision. For the Grizzlies, Knox would almost be a starter from day one at the 3, competing with Dillon Brooks and Wayne Selden Jr. for a starting spot. The most likely situation to me would be much like Dillon’s role from this past season. Except hopefully he wouldn’t have to play as much as Dillon was asked to.
Knox has some work to do but could turn out to be a starter in the league. By no means do I project him as an all-star quite yet, but it’s definitely not out of the question. Charlotte and the Clippers look like the likeliest destinations for Knox where he’ll fit in as both teams look to retool even more this offseason.