2018 Pick Number 10 – Kevin Knox
Height – 6’9”
Weight –215 lbs
Age – 18 years and 10 months
Wingspan – 7’0.25”
Position – Small Forward / Power Forward
Strengths – Athletic finisher with a fluid jumper. Good strength.
Weaknesses – Lacks creation ability and leadership is questionable.
NBA comparison – Tobias Harris
With the 10th pick in the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers are looking to add a player that can help them make a playoff push. Being that this is the final pick of the Sixers Front Office mock draft, I’m willing to touch on an honorable mention.
Is Kevin Knox the highest-ceiling pick at 10 for Philly? Probably not. Is he the most NBA-ready selection for the Sixers at this spot? Yes. The perfect fit for Philadelphia would have been Mikal Bridges, but being that the New York Knicks are mocked to select him at nine, Knox is the next-best fit.
At this point in the draft, Texas Tech’s Zaire Smith could be the highest-reward pick, but the 76ers may not be in the business of reaching. Smith’s athleticism and upside reminds me a lot of Donovan Mitchell’s pre-draft, but there is one knock on Smith’s game; he doesn’t shoot the three confidently (which definitely impacts that Mitchell comparison, right?). His offensive game, as a whole, is a work in progress, and his athleticism is off the charts. That said, though, Knox is no sloth.
Why it makes sense for Philadelphia
Heading into the 2018-19 season, the 76ers are in dire need for an addition at the wing position. Setting possible free agency acquisitions aside, Kevin Knox could slot into the Sixers’ rotation from day one, but he’ll most likely come off the bench.
At this second, the projected starting lineup for Philly (from one to five) is Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid. In the games leading to Philadelphia’s playoff series loss to the Boston Celtics, it was obvious that they lacked wing depth. They had no answers on defense, and at times on offense, when Robert Covington was out of the game.
Markelle Fultz’s development this offseason could play into where Knox is on day one as well. Let’s say the Sixers would rather bring Markelle off the bench, they don’t add any starting caliber players in FA, and they decide to add bench depth instead. We could see a lineup that looks like (one to five, again) Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, Kevin Knox, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid. Brett Brown made it clear that he wants help right now (from the draft) and Kevin Knox is the best player (right now, according to this mock) at the 10th pick.
Kevin Knox played 32.4 minutes per game at Kentucky last year and started in all 37 contests. He averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and he shot at a 44.5-percent clip from the field. Ironically enough, I could see his shooting percentage increase in the NBA.
Knox seems like the type of player that will thrive with better talent around him. He is not a number-one scoring option, which is totally fine. The Sixers have Joel Embiid. Knox was 18 throughout his freshman season, so he has plenty of time to get better, and even at that young age, he was the guy at Kentucky, which could be the main reason why his efficiency was a bit lower than it probably should have been
He put up a 17.0 PER, a 55.6 true shooting percentage, and a plus-6.5 net rating. He also shot 77.4 percent from the free throw stripe, which isn’t terrible. With his ability to attack the rim, he better expect to get to the line in the NBA. He only averaged 1.4 assists per game, which shows his lack (maybe unwillingness) of distributing ability, but this is why Ben Simmons is so important. It’s good to have attackers around the Aussie.
Knox averaged 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks per game at Kentucky, which shows a couple of things. Either there is a lack of activity on defense, or he doesn’t have the instincts yet. At his size, athleticism, and length, there is no reason that Knox should be a minus defender in the NBA.
The Sixers’ size, assuming Knox would see a lot of minutes at the small forward position, could be very interesting. He fits that theme, but Brett Brown preaches defense, so we should expect him to get better on that end. The question will be – how much better? This will be up to Kevin.
Thank you, everyone, for spending the time and going through this journey with Jason Blevins, Dave Jackson, and myself, as we hope to give you our best Philadelphia 76ers content. The draft is tomorrow night, and I expect there to be a lot of shakeups around the NBA.
Trades, surprising selections, and maybe some draft slides will benefit or hurt the Philadelphia 76ers. Whatever happens, we’ll be here to talk about it.
Again, thank you.