LAS VEGAS — Some New York Knicks fans already are reconsidering their feelings about first-round pick Kevin Knox.
The No. 9 selection out of Kentucky was booed by some Knicks fans on draft night, but the 18-year-old is already showing great potential. He ended pool play as the No. 3 scorer in the Las Vegas summer league with 23.3 points per game, and he averaged seven rebounds per contest. Social media is abuzz with Knicks fans hoping the 6-foot-9 forward is the right player to team up with Kristaps Porzingis and help the Knicks return to glory.
Knox had 29 points and nine rebounds Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He made 5 of 7 3-pointers against the Lakers after struggling from deep in the first two games in Las Vegas. He scored 16 points during a 30-3 Knicks run that gave New York its only lead early in the fourth quarter.
He’ll be in action again Thursday when the Knicks play the Boston Celtics in tournament action.
Knox has shown a little something different in each game in Las Vegas. In a loss to Utah on Sunday, he only made 5 of 15 shots but he went 7 of 8 from the line and had two steals. Before that, he had 22 points on 8 of 20 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in a win over Atlanta on Saturday.
Knox showed the potential to be a big-time scorer as a college freshman. He averaged 15.6 points and was the leading scorer for a Kentucky squad that reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
He’s not the only rookie from Kentucky making things happen in Las Vegas.
—Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the 11th overall pick, is averaging 19.7 points and shooting 45 percent for the Los Angeles Clippers.
—Hamidou Diallo, a second-round pick, is averaging 9.3 points per game while shooting 53 percent for the Oklahoma City Thunder.