Currently viewing the tag: "Jonas Valanciunas"

Brandon Knight, point guard from the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

With Bismack Biyombo, Jonas Valanciunas and Tristan Thompson off the board (only Biyombo and Thompson were slated to go to #8), Detroit was left with making a stunningly obvious pick of Brandon Knight, the talented first year point guard from the University of Kentucky.  Here are some of the measurables, on Knight (from the combine):

6’3 (in shoes), 177 pounds.  6’6.75″ wingspan, 8’2.5″ standing reach, 4.2 percent body fat, 37.5″ vertical, 10 reps on the bench (not bad for how small he is), 3.07 3/4 court sprint.

These measurables don’t usually translate too much on the court except for vertical and strength.  There are some other things that stand out about this kid that show he is just the type of player that the Pistons need following a year of on (and off) the court embarrassment.  Knight maintained a 4.0 GPA at Kentucky, and helped lead the Kentucky Wildcats to the 2011 Final Four where they lost to Kemba Walker and the UConn Huskies by 1 point.

He shot a pretty consistent 46% from 2 and 37% from 3.  As is the case with a lot of college players, Knight fell in love with the 3 point shot with upward of 6 3 attempts per game.  Knight needs to be better from the free throw line (79%) and he’ll need to work on his AST/Turn ratio (1.33).

I am satisfied with the pick, but only because I was resigned to the fact that Utah was going to pick him at #3.  Utah, who recently traded their franchise point guard, desperately needed a point guard prospect and now will look to fill that hole in free agency or via trade and the commonly discussed name is always Al Jefferson or as a sign and trade for a guy like Kirilenko which is unlikely.

Do I think Detroit’s #1 need is another guard?  No, but they do need a point guard and I believe they got the best point guard in the draft.  He’s remained healthy, he lead the Wildcats to the Final Four a year after just about their entire active roster left for the NBA Draft, and he brings size to the point guard position for Detroit.  I prefer Knight over any of the big men that were selected from #7 or later.  I think he falls in line with the “Best player available” line of thinking, and at the draft party Team President Joe Dumars said how surprised they were that Knight fell to them at #8 and it’s clear that our new superstar owner, Tom Gores, is “impressed with how Joe and his team handled the process”.

I give the pick a B+.  I’m satisfied with the selection if Detroit is stuck with Knight.  I think he can step in, in year 2 and make an impact.  Knight is the youngest players in the NBA Draft, and I think as his 1st season goes on he is the type of intelligent basketball player who could take what he’s learned off the court and apply it to his trade on the court.  Draft Express has Knight ranked as the #6 prospect in the top 100 and has his “best case” as “Chauncey Billups in his prime” and “worst case” as “Louis Williams”.  I don’t want the comment section to fill up with Billups comparison, but I did want to throw that out there for all the Billups’ lovers. Knight almost single handedly beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in this past year’s NCAA Tournament as well… so for all you Wolverines out there, there’s that.

Now all the team needs is a Head Coach.  I’m on Team Frank, as if you didn’t know already.