Giannis Antetokounmpo. Anthony Davis. Kristaps Porzingis. Kevin Durant.
Those guys are unicorns. Tall guys that, by all accounts, should spend the majority of their time near the basket. However, their games look more like that of a guard. They can handle the ball, pass, and shoot from the outside. An offensive weapon like that, even in the most athletic era of the NBA, is pretty darn unstoppable.
One could argue that the next former Wildcat on the list is going to be Karl-Anthony Towns, although he has to sure up his handles a little bit more.
But is there a current Wildcat that could join that group? On his current trajectory, Kevin Knox could be headed that way.
As the last player invited to Team USA U16 camp in 2015, Knox exploded onto the scene and became a starter for that team and helped lead them to a gold medal. Since then, his stock has continued to skyrocket.
A little shorter than the other unicorns, Knox comes in around 6’9”. But has he continues to grow and look more like a power forward, his skills look more and more like that of an elite guard. His ball handling and shooting have always been the weaker parts of his game, but that skill gap is quickly fading.
“Every year, I just get better and better,” Knox told the Herald-Leader. “I take what people say are my weaknesses, and I’m making them my strengths. A lot of people said I couldn’t dribble or shoot. Right now, I think I’m shooting and handling the ball pretty well.”
Kevin Knox shows off his range, shoots it over PJ Washington, who throws down big dunk on next trip down the floor: pic.twitter.com/GAKwi8Seeb— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) June 18, 2017
Knox was very impressive at U19 tryouts this past week, looking to be the most dominant player in the group. And although a minor hamstring injury has sent him back to Lexington, he definitely left his mark on the Team USA coaching staff.
“I’m telling you what he is,” Coach John Calipari said after the first practice Team USA practice. “He’s a guard.”
His movement has been fluid, his speed has been impressive, and his shot has been lights out.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been the only premier small forward to play at Kentucky for Calipari. The games of Gilchrist and Knox could not be more different, but Knox’s impact on the program could rival that of Big Blue Nation’s beloved MKG.
Which NBA player’s skill set do you think best resembles that of Kevin Knox?