Who Would You Rather Have: Michael Porter Jr or Kevin Knox?
Porter has also been reported to go as high as #2 in the draft, with teams like Memphis at #4 also showing strong interest. If his draft stock was a movie, it would be Up.
Want to know who his co-star in this movie is? Kevin Knox. The Ringer has Knox and Porter rising up their Big Board, with MPJ in the top 4 and Knox at number seven. Personally, I have Knox at 14, but after hearing recent draft news about his workouts, Knox will move into my top 10. Jonathan Givony of ESPN (and formerly of Draft Express), has reported candidly about Knox’s recent string of super impressive workouts, where he has shown off his playmaking ability and three-point prowess.
With these two burgeoning prospects both on the rise, a question appears: Which combo forward would you want to see your team draft?
The Case for Knox:
Let me hit you with some things I love!
- Better 3P shooter than what we saw in college
- High Release, shoots over most wings/guards
- Flashes NBA Shot-Creation, i.e stepbacks, crossovers
- Off-Ball Role: KU ran him off of screens along the baseline, sunk pin-downs often, footwork is advanced
- Floaters, runners and push shots all in arsenal
- Recent workouts show that he is quickly improving his PnR game
Let me hit you with some things that make me go “ugh”
- Dude literally only drives right
- Left hand is suspect and leads to him taking awkward, harder shots
- Does not look to create for anyone but himself
- Wants to dunk on you but can shy away from physicality
- Defensive lapses despite good body/length for defense
If you fall in love with Knox, you probably watched footage of him draining various types of threes. Knox has shown a wonderful affinity for manipulating players of the DHO. He also can knockdown Js on the move. It is not uncommon for Coach Cal to play Kentucky guys out of position, so what we saw of Knox in college may not be indicative of his NBA style of play. A combo forward with theoretical defensive tools and untapped offensive potential, Knox could emerge as the best forward from this draft class.
The Case for MPJ:
Things that make me excited!
- Soft, feathery touch from three
- Walking mismatch for teams, can shoot over 3s and blow by biggers 4s
- Grab n’ GO, transition monster off of rebounds
- Defensive tools: Standing reach (9’0”) is the same as the Brow’s
- Can create some mid-range jumpers, shot-clock bailout guy
- Good athlete who can go up and get lobs, quick enough to drag slower defenders around pin downs
Things that make me say “this guy’s gonna go top 10?”
- Feel for the game: Always looking for his shot and doesn’t let the offense find its rhythm
- IQ: Once watched MPJ post up right next to a teammate who was posting up…
- Can he run the PnR?
- What is his back injury all about? Hasn’t been cooperative with team medicals yet. Why?
- Physicality: Rail thin player who will get shoved around often
It is easy to see why teams are falling back in love with Porter. The high school phenom is a serious shot-maker. This season, the NBA saw a reemergence of the mid-range game. When teams (especially in the postseason) got into the last 4 minutes of a game, they often deferred to their best player to simply go and get them a bucket. In time, Porter should be able to be that guy. If he adds some weight, Porter should dominate smaller lineups. His shooting alone should satisfy many GMs as well as fans.
So who do you pick? The guy who flashes a very promising jumper and improving playmaking game? Or, the guy who has a more established skill set yet, lacks feel for the game and has injury concerns?
I know my choice but, what is yours? Leave a reply below!