The NBA Summer League is nothing more than an inescapable abyss of hype. Career expectations are often unfairly attached to players after just a couple games of exhibition basketball.
But for New York Knicks' first round draft pick Kevin Knox, the hype is genuinely earned.
Kevin Knox is currently averaging 23.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in the Las Vegas Summer League.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) July 11, 2018
Only two other rookies this decade have appeared in at least three games and averaged over 22 ppg in summer league play:
John Wall and Damian Lillard#NewYorkKnox
The numbers alone are impressive enough, but stats can easily be padded in the Summer League. What cannot be padded, however, is sheer skill and footwork. Knox has shown plenty of that with an unbeatable euro step.
I have been excited to see Kevin Knox unleash his Euro Step, which might be his best transition move pic.twitter.com/dfETcEJTvi— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) July 12, 2018
Now, the tricky part about evaluating Knox this early in his career is that it is just the Summer League. Come this fall, he will be competing against the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, and Gordon Hayward rather than rookies and players desperate to make a roster.
Also, the nature of the pre-season is to overhype every good performance as one NBA reporter pointed out.
Kevin Knox will get Giannis comparisons today and tomorrow he will shoot 2-15 and no one will talk about it because that's how Summer League goes lol.— Josh Eberley (@JoshEberley) July 7, 2018
Still, Knox looks special, and the Knicks truly got a steal in the draft regardless of what their fans thought on draft night. He might not be the 10-time All-Star some of the talk around him might suggest, but it looks like he will still be something special.