By Matt Murray
Your team needs a distributer, the central component to a successful NBA team.This upcoming draft class is about as questionable as the NBA actually having a 2011-12 season, but there is plenty of potential for some diamonds in the rough. Among them lies the big question: who is going to be the top point guard- Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight?
ESPN’s Chad Ford weighed in, saying that he would take Kemba for the short term, but an NBA team that wanted a PG for the long haul should take Brandon Knight. In a follow-up question, Ford said the same when comparing Knight to Jimmer. It seems that prospects are seeing quite a bit of potential in the freshman guard out of Kentucky, but is taking him over the UConn veteran a bit bold? No. And here’s why.
Kemba is a veteran, and for that reason he truly is ready to lead a team in the League, right off the bat. He has the intangibles, and he has for more than a year. He is fearless, and fast. But it seems he may already be at the peak of his potential.
Brandon Knight’s rapid improvement over last season shows his innate coachability and willingness to listen and learn. Not to mention, while he may not be the highlight reel playmaker that Walker is, he does surpass Walker in a handful of areas. For one, Knight plays much better defense than Walker. He never slows up on either side of the ball, and has the smarts to read through screens and switches.
Via ESPN, Ford commented on the other advantages of Knight over Walker.
“I spoke to dozens of scouts and executives over the weekend and the majority of them had Knight ranked slightly higher because of his size, shooting ability and upside,” Ford said.
Knight does have 3 inches on Walker at 6 foot 4, and in the NBA thats nothing to ignore. Knight’s size and shooting ability combines with his vision on the court to create the potential for him to make his mark as one of the best PGs in the League.
But there is still quite a bit more growing up for Knight to do, and Ford’s hesitation on drafting him for team’s short-term scenarios is a bit telling on Knight’s being ready for the NBA, at least for right now. At the same time, he could develop even faster in the League than he did against college competition. Time will tell.
Ultimately, Ford said GMs are leaning toward Knight, simply because they believe he will be the better guard in the long term, and he is right. For now, Ford has Knight going third, to the Utah Jazz.
Either way, there is no question that the teams that get these guys won’t likely be dissapointed.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.