A Hidden Gem: How Did No One Realize That Kevin Knox Was This Good?
Of the first ten lottery picks in the 2018 NBA Draft, the most controversial was the New York Knicks’ pick of Kentucky’s Kevin Knox at Number 9. It was so controversial that Knox was booed after being picked. After only a couple of Summer League games, however, Kevin Knox looks like the steal of the draft. So the biggest question here becomes about why he was not only passed over by 8 other teams, but why none of the so-called “experts” saw this coming.
Likely part of this, as SI.com‘s Jeremy Woo pointed out on Twitter, is that Kevin Knox was not really allowed to shine to his full potential under John Calipari at Kentucky. As Woo clarified, this isn’t a knock on Calipari. John Calipari is a national championship-winning coach and has proved his pedigree, bringing teams he’s coached to the Final Four 6 times in the past 22 years. So whatever his gameplan is, it should be allowed to happen without garnering criticism because it works. Regardless, seeing Kevin Knox show out in Summer League makes basketball fans everywhere think about why Calipari didn’t utilize his talents more often.
Thankfully, long-suffering Knicks fans will have something to look forward to this season, especially considering that star player Kristaps Porzingis will miss most of the season recovering from an ACL tear, if not the whole season. Along with an relatively unknown quantity in Mitchell Robinson, New York’s second-round pick, who also looks phenomenal, by the way, the Knicks have the potential to play entertaining basketball this year and give Porzingis something to look forward to upon returning to the court.
Also, depending on how good Knox and Robinson are once the regular season begins, it may prove very attractive for next summer’s free agents. Already, Kyrie Irving is being mooted to sign with the Knicks and it seems like Jimmy Butler wants to join him. If that’s the case, and this year’s Knicks rookies come out in tip-top shape, the Knicks will immediately become a championship contender. So maybe Knicks fans should keep booing their draft picks, it’ll motivate them to be great.