New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox stated that he wants to win Rookie of the Year. Can Knox provide the immediate impact necessary to win the award?
Kevin Knox has been viewed by many as the safe and most logical selection for a franchise that seems to have recently accepted the rebuilding process ahead of them. Knox appeared to be less NBA-ready than possible draft selection Mikal Bridges, whom the New York Knicks was also rumored to have interest in.
The selection of Knox made it clear the team believed in his long-term potential, as opposed to overvaluing an initial impact.
When observing the most productive first-year players from the 2017-18 season, and what made them compelling Rookie of the Year candidates, it’s clear that prospects who are drafted to teams without primary scoring options tend to receive larger opportunities for the award.
Kristaps Porzingis‘ return to the court next season is not assured, and even if he does return, his minutes will likely be limited. A Knicks team without Porzingis lacks a scoring threat who screams go-to guy.
While Knox may not have the ability to immediately fill that role, it seems he could be asked to fill Latvian shoes much bigger than his.
Is it completely unrealistic that, with Knox being fed the ball and asked to create shots for himself, he could become the leading scorer on the Porzingis-less Knicks?
Knox may have been the ninth player selected in his draft class, but could a rookie season surrounded by players incapable of keeping Knox on the bench force the young forward to accelerate his development and outshine those drafted before him?
Rookies on loaded playoff contenders traditionally sit behind veterans while learning the game’s intangibles. When looking at Knox’s competitors for Rookie of the Year, it seems there are few players who will join teams as deprived of scoring options as the Knicks.
Top selections from the 2018 NBA Draft class and presumed Rookie of the Year candidates, such as Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic, will be slotted next to players who require heavy touches to provide point production.
However, the spotlight of New York will give the Knicks’ newcomer the ability to showcase his talent in nationally televised matchups, as opposed to the local broadcasting of battles in Atlanta and Sacramento.
If the New York Knicks make Kevin Knox their go-to option in a season focused on developing young talent, it isn’t out of the question that the athletic forward could be in contention to take home the award coveted by all who reach the stage on draft night.