2018 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Kevin Knox

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

This is the eleventh (11th) installment in a series of regular postings on draft prospects. This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft.

Kevin Knox

School - Class

Kentucky Wildcats



Age at time of draft





6’9" (with shoes)


212 lbs



Max Vertical Jump

36½" measured at the Kentucky Pro Day in October 2017

Average Mock Draft rank


Pro-player comparison

Otto Porter 6'8½" 198 lbs (7'1½" wingspan), 36" max vertical

Kentucky continues to produce multiple NBA players every year. This year there are three Wildcats that will be drafted; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox.

Here is what Head Coach John Calipari said about Knox recently:

"He’s one of the greatest kids I’ve coached. He was a great teammate, a great student, and a great player," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. "He is mature and responsible well beyond his years."

"He's not even close to what he's going to be," the Wildcats coach said. "But he's young. You're not getting a guy who's 25 years old. He's 19. He just turned 19." (He actually doesn't turn 19 until August). "What they're going to see is, this kid is really big. Really long. Skilled player, but he's young," Calipari said. "You just got to know you're taking one of the youngest kids in the draft. The league has become a hit-or-miss league. If you shoot it, you're good. If you can't shoot it, you're probably not good. And he can shoot."

Kevin Knox is a 6’9" combo forward with excellent length (6'11¾" wingspan). His 212 pound frame and wide shoulders should be able to fill out nicely as he matures. Knox is not an elite athlete (36½" max vertical measured at the Kentucky Pro Day in October 2017), but he’s certainly athletic enough for the NBA and finishes above the rim with ease. He’s got a very quick second jump and adequate lateral quickness. I would say he is a smooth and fluid athlete as opposed to an explosive, quick-twitch type.

Defensively, Knox had an up and down year. He has the physical tools to become an good one-on-one defender, but his awareness was inconsistent at Kentucky. He would show flashes that would indicate he could become a very good one-on-one defender, then lose focus the next play.

For the most part, Knox displays consistently high energy level on the defensive end. He closes on shooters well, fights through screens and makes quick rotations and switches. It’s just that occasionally he’ll get caught watching the ball, or allowing a player the baseline on a drive. Some of that has to be inexperience and youth and he should get better with more experience. He may never be a shut down defender, but he should develop into a good team defender and won’t hurt the team on that end.

He’s a good rebounder (6.0 per 36) and gets the occasional steal; although with his length, I would expect more steals than the 0.9 per 36 he posted this past season. All in all, because of his physical attributes, and the fact that he puts forth energy and effort on the defensive side, he has good defensive upside.

Knox can score from all three levels; he can post up smaller players, hit from mid-range, and pull big men out to the 3-point line. He didn't have a particularly efficient season, shooting only 44.5% overall and 34.1% from the 3-point line; but that could have been because he was playing out of position most of the year. Right now, Knox is a Small Forward, but because of personnel, Kentucky played him at the power forward. I’m certain his shooting percentage would have been higher had he been posting up and shooting over small forwards all year.

As Calipari said, the NBA is a make or miss league - and Kevin Knox will only be as good as his jump shot will allow. His jump shot is smooth, quick and compact. He has good, repeatable, solid mechanics and excellent footwork; both on spot up jumpers and off the dribble. His length means he can get his jumper off over just about anyone.

He shot 34.1% from the 3-point line this past season - and that was more than adequate, but I think his ability to stretch the floor will be his calling card in the NBA. His 77.4% free throw percentage also hints at the potential to be a good long range shooter. His 3-point shot was a bit inconsistent in college - but since his mechanics are sound, and if he spends the needed time in the gym, he should develop into a deadly long-range shooter relatively quickly.

Knox’s handle is pretty good. He can certainly use straight line dribbles to get to the rim or to attack closeouts. But he’s needs to occasionally showcase a more advanced handle; and he definitely needs to improve his play making abilities.

Kevin Knox has the basics in place for a complete offensive game; long range shooting, mid-range, floaters, pull-up jumpers, catch-and-shoot, off-screens, post-ups - everything.


  • Excellent size and length
  • Good athlete
  • Good Motor/ Energy
  • Good shooter from all areas on the floor
  • Defensive potential
  • Young - with upside (Solid Starter upside)


  • Must get stronger to defend bigger NBA players in the post
  • Must continue to develop 3-point shot
  • Must improve ball handling
  • Not a high level passer

Knox has a good offensive foundation, well developed skills, and plays with effort and energy. He can do lots of good things on the court and doesn’t have a critical weakness. He should be able to eventually defend multiple positions and develop into a serious 3-point threat. In today’s position-less NBA, the ability to switch defensively, shoot the 3-point shot, rebound and get out in transition is invaluable.

Fit for the Wizards

Kevin Knox’s game is eerily similar to Otto Porter Jr. - So I don't see a reason why they would want to draft Knox. But if the Wizards are considering trading Otto, then replacing him with a younger, cheaper, yet less developed, but similar player with upside could be a viable option.

Previous Draft profiles

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.