NBA Draft Team Fit Watch: Tennessee's Dalton Knecht

Examining the top three team fits for the lottery projected wing out of Tennessee.
Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY

After a long collegiate journey beginning at Northeastern Junior College to Northern Colorado and a final single season in the SEC at Tennessee, Dalton Knecht emerged as one of the best college basketball players and prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft. 

Knecht parlayed his blend size (6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan), 3-point shooting (39% on a career-best 6.5 attempts per game), defensive tools and work ethic to earn SEC Player of the Year and First Team All-American honors.

The sharpshooting wing is a projected lottery pick with a high floor and the skillset to be a seamless fit with any NBA team.

Here are the top three landing spots for Knecht in the lottery. 

Portland Trail Blazers

With the trio of Anfernee Simons, Malcolm Brogdon and Scoot Henderson (last year’s third overall pick) expected to hold down the majority of the minutes in the backcourt, the Blazers could certainly use some firepower on the wing alongside Shaedon Sharpe with one of their two lottery picks (No. 7 and No. 14).

Outside of Sharpe, the primary wing depth consists of Toumani Camara, Jabari Walker, Matisse Thybulle, Kris Murray and Dalano Banton whose versatility allows him to play in the backcourt and on the wing. While all of those players can and have added value to varying degrees, adding Knecht would give the Blazers an instant rotation player in both a position and area of need. His career 38% 3-point mark (560 attempts) would provide a major boost to Portland’s league-worst 34.5% shooting from deep this past season. 

Memphis Grizzlies

Speaking of bottom of the league 3-point shooting teams, the Grizzlies at 34.6%, would have finished last if it wasn’t for the Blazers. So, if there is another team that is in dire need of Knecht’s shooting and floor spacing, it’s without a doubt the Grizzlies. 

Selecting Knecht with the ninth overall pick wouldn’t just only check critical 3-point shooting and scoring gravity boxes, but a few others that align with Memphis’s playing style and needs. With Ja Morant leading the team’s uptempo pace, Knecht excels in the transition game as a shooter of course (38% on 47 transition 3-point attempts) and bouncy above-the-rim finisher alongside his respectable ball skills. Additionally, Knecht can provide day-one production and a bench spark for a Grizzlies squad that’s ready to compete for championships right now. 

Chicago Bulls 

There are a lot of questions right now for the Bulls, especially along the perimeter. DeMar DeRozan is a free agent, Patrick Williams is a restricted free agent and Zack LaVine is still in trade rumors. With the eleventh pick, Chicago can fill their floor spacing and potential scoring needs with a high-floor wing like Knecht.

Knecht has the off-ball game to mesh with lead scorers like DeRozan and Lavine as well as the emerging Coby White. His offensive firepower can provide some insurance for the possible losses of either DeRozann and/or LaVine whether it’s in a starting or bench role. 

Out of the three teams listed as best fits, Chicago could offer the best opportunity for a higher usage role and a different initial development path playing more on the ball if deRozan and/or Lavine departs. While Knecht might never be a lead handler, this situation could end up raising both his floor and ceiling.


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Jam Hines

JAM HINES

Jam is a scout with nearly a decade of evaluation experience through his time with former NBA scouting and consulting services, EV Hoops and BPA Hoops. From the high school to NBA level, he brings a wealth of knowledge on prospects.