Kevin Knox (5)

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Knicks Select Kentucky Forward Kevin Knox 9th Overall In 2018 NBA Draft

June 21, 2018 - 8:27 pm
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By WFAN.com

The Knicks selected University of Kentucky forward Kevin Knox with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Knox received a mixed ovation as he walked to the stage. Some Knicks fans preferred Michael Porter Jr. and greeted the pick with boos and thumbs down gestures. Porter Jr. was later selected by the Denver Nuggets at 14th overall.

“They booed Porzingis and look where he is now,” Knox told reporters on Thursday night. “That’s the same mindset I’m going to have. They can chant Michael Porter all they want. But they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.”

Knox is one of the youngest players in the draft as he will not turn 19 until mid-August. At 6-foot-9, 215 pounds, Knox is an extremely long wing that should fit well into a modern NBA lineup. In his lone college season, Knox averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Knox possesses a versatile offensive attack as he can score in the post, transition and has a smooth catch and shoot jump shot. The forward is particularly impressive when driving, as his long strides, size, and excellent touch allow him to score over nearly any defender. Knox moves well off the ball and is uses the screen well to create shots off the dribble. Though his rebounding numbers in college weren’t outstanding, the 6-foot-7 forward has great potential on the glass as he is expected to grow a few more inches once in the pros.

“Kevin fits what we’re going to be about,” Knicks general manager Scott Perry said. “He’s long. He’s athletic. He can play multiple positions. I think he has tremendous upside. He’s coming from a program in Kentucky that has produced a lot of great pros. We know he’s been challenged there. We thought he was an excellent fit.”

Knox showed a propensity in college to have his effort affected by his offensive output. When his shots aren’t falling, Knox tends to lose focus in other aspects of his game. Additionally, Knox does not have great court vision, as especially in transition he rarely passes and often looks for his own shot.

With the 36th overall pick, the Knicks drafted center Mitchell Robinson. The 7-foot, 223-pound big man opted to forgo college after being suspended indefinitely for violating the team rules at Western Kentucky University.

The Phoenix Suns drafted 7-foot, 250-pound center Deandre Ayton of the University of Arizona with the first overall pick. Duke center Marvin Bagley III was selected second overall by the Sacramento Kings. The Atlanta Hawks traded the rights of third overall selection Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for fifth overall pick Trae Young and 2019 lottery-protected first-round pick. The Memphis Grizzlies used the fifth overall pick to select Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr.