When Kentucky F Kevin Knox was selected with the 9th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Knicks fans in attendance were quick to voice their displeasure, hinting that they were more interested in Missouri F Michael Porter Jr. I was in attendance that night, and I had no problem with whatever selection the Knicks made. The section to the left of me was filled with Knicks fans, a majority of whom were chanting Porter’s name. I was not one of them.
Porter Jr. had long been projected to go very early in the draft, with some sources even claiming that the Sacramento Kings were “set” on picking him 2nd overall. However, some concerns came up right before the draft about him potentially missing workouts due to complications in his back. This was the same back that caused him to miss a majority of his only season at Missouri. When he was not selected in the top five, many Knicks fans inside Barclays Center began chanting “We Want Porter!”, hoping he would somehow fall past the Chicago Bulls at seven, and Cleveland Cavaliers at eight, both of which had interest in him. Both teams passed, leaving the Knicks to primarily select between three forwards, Michael Porter Jr., Mikal Bridges, and Kevin Knox.
In the end, 18-year-old Kevin Knox was chosen, leaving many fans to be upset that the team had passed on a talent like Porter Jr., who had long drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant, amongst others. The now famous “Crying Knicks Fan”, the same one that boo’ed the selection of Kristaps Porzingis back in 2015, was even displayed on the jumbotron, trying to show that Knicks had made yet another mistake. Of course, the selection of Porzingis has turned out to be far from a mistake, and from what Summer League has shown, Kevin Knox looks like the right pick.
Throughout the Las Vegas Summer League, Knox put up astounding numbers for a rookie, averaging 21.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. His best game was against the Lakers, where he put up 29 points, 9 rebounds, and shot 5-7 from behind the arc. He was instrumental to the Knicks 25-point comeback (that ultimately fell short), but there has been everything to love about Knox so far.
His continued praise of not only his teammates, but also coach David Fizdale and New York City, has shown that for being the 2nd youngest rookie in the class, Knox’s ceiling potential is beyond anything people could have imagined. With a young core of G Frank Ntilikina, F Kristaps Porzingis, and even fellow draftee C Mitchell Robinson around him, Kevin Knox has a chance to become the next big thing in the grandest city of them all.