Today is day number one for draft prospects to start coming through Sacramento. Things have been relatively quiet so far this draft season, with most teams taking part in multi-team, multi-player workouts put on by host teams around the country. Brandon Knight is the Kings’ first visitor, coming to Sacramento to take part in a battery of tests and drills with the team’s front office brass before being thrown to the media wolves. The freshman out of Kentucky is considered one of the top point guard prospects in this year’s NBA draft and is drawing attention all the way from spot #3 to pick #7, where the Kings sit anxiously waiting. Knight measured well at the NBA combine, showing good height, leaping ability and quickness to go with a very nice wingspan.
- Height: 6′-1.5″ w/o shoes; 6′-3.25″ w/ shoes.
- Weight: 177-pounds; 4.2% body fat.
- Wingspan: 6′-6.75″
- Standing Reach: 8′-2.5″
- Vertical: 29.0″ no step vert; 37.5″ max vert.
- Strength: 10 reps on bench press (185-pounds).
- Agility Drills: Lane agility- 10.74 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.07 seconds.
Here are my initial thoughts on Brandon Knight. He is an extremely wiry athlete with a quick first step and lightning acceleration in the open floor. Knight gets low in his dribble and has a nice lean to complement a long stride. The Kings worked him hard coming off of screens in both catch and shoot situations as well as off cuts. Knight responded well to the drills, hitting baseline three’s over ex-NBA and current Kings’ front office man Bobby Jackson and finishing his slashing moves with lay-ups and dunks. He showed a knack for breaking free of his man and being in proper position to receive a pass. Although Knight is considered a point guard, he looked very comfortable without the ball in his hands and he seems to know how to use screens effectively.
After watching Knight today, I believe that there is very little chance that he will be available at number seven when the Kings pick. Not only is he a fluid athlete, but he is intelligent, articulate and a total package type of player. It is hard to get a true feel about how he will fair against NBA talent because of his solo try-out, but he plays a very physical game for a 177-pound player. Knight’s shot selection and decision making has been called into question, but those seem to be issues that he will grow out of.
I am not typically a proponent of the one and done college athlete, but Knight seems to have really listened and learned from Coach Calipari in his single season at Kentucky. Known for being extremely hard on his point guards, Calipari’s teachings appear to have pulled the leadership qualities out of Brandon Knight that he will need at the NBA level if he hopes to have any chance of running a team from the point guard position.
It is early in prospect season, but Knight was impressive both on the court, in what limited drills we were able to witness, and off the court, where he represented himself very well. In short, there is a lot to like about Brandon Knight.
A special thanks to Jon Santiago for producing the video of today’s event and if you would like to see the actual workout itself, click here to go to Kings.com for their exclusive on court video.