Check out Kevin Knox II's strengths and weaknesses as he's drafted into the NBA.
The Knicks selected 18-year-old Kevin Knox II with the No. 9 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
The 6'9" forward ranked as the ninth recruit in his 2017 class. The five-star recruit was so highly coveted in his senior year that a professional team in China made him a $1.4 million offer, which he turned down. Knox waited until May of his senior year to announce his commitment to Kentucky. He chose the Wildcats over North Carolina and Duke, while also considering Missouri and Florida State.
The Tampa native averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game, shooting 77.4% from the line and 34.1% from behind the arc. He rounded out the season as Kentucky’s leading scorer. His team was knocked out of the NCAA tournament by Kansas State, coming up short by three points in the Sweet 16.
SI.com's Jeremy Woo broke down the selection of Knox below.
Knox won’t be an immediate-impact player for the Knicks, but at just 18 years of age, he will have time to blossom into a starting-caliber forward down the line. Knox has desirable athleticism, a strong build and natural talent as a scorer that can play both forward spots as he matures. He makes sense for the Knicks, who can take their time and work to build out a quality core of players around Kristaps Porzingis. New York may have rolled with Sexton or Trae Young if they fell here, but given their need for a wing, Knox was a strong route, although there is some risk involved here as he has a bit further to go than some.
• At 6’9” with a 7’0” wingspan, Knox has a perfect frame for the modern game as his body matures. He should be able to match up with either forward spot effectively.
• He’s not an overwhelming athlete, but has enough explosion and quickness to score at all three levels and make an impact.
• Knox showed development on the defensive end and should be able to grow into a useful two-way player.
• Knox made only 34.1% of his three-pointers, but has solid shooting mechanics and should become more consistent with more repetitions.
• Consistency and scoring efficiency were a big factor in his freshman season, a lot of which came due to poor shot selection and a smaller role. He stands to figure out where his best spots are and refine his approach.
• Knox’s motor also came into question throughout the season. Some of it may have been confidence-based. He’s still learning to play the game, which leaves a variety of outcomes