Dalton Knecht NBA Mock Draft scouting report: Here’s why the Tennessee star should be a lottery pick in 2024

Dalton Knecht has taken the most unlikely path of any potential lottery pick in this class. In the age of one-and-dones, he will be 23 years old when the draft rolls around.

After a few modest years in junior college and Northern Colorado, he exploded as a senior. He then took his game even further after transferring to Tennessee in his fifth year of eligibility, averaging 21.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game for the Volunteers. He’s led them to a deep run in the NCAA Tournament as one of the best scorers in the country. 

That growth in his game was also helped along by the physical growth of his body. He went from a 6-1 high school player to a 6-6 late bloomer NBA prospect.

Knecht is all over draft radars now, where he is expected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round. Here’s why teams are excited about his game. 

TSN’s MARCH MADNESS HQ
Live NCAA bracket | TV schedule | Predictor tool

Dalton Knecht stats

State Average
Points 21.1
Rebounds 4.9
Assists 1.7
Blocks 0.6
Steals 0.6
Field goal % 46.1
3-point % 39.1
Free throw % 76.6

Dalton Knecht height, weight

Knecht has good positional size. He’s somewhat of a tweener but will likely be an NBA wing. 

  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 204 pounds
  • Wingspan: n/a

Dalton Knecht strengths

There is very little doubt about Knecht’s scoring ability. He is a walking bucket. 

Knecht can score in a variety of ways. He’s a very good above-the-rim athlete who can throw down some hammer dunks. 

That adeptness in cutting makes him an impossible cover because it serves as a great counter to his movement shooting. Knecht excels at running off screens, taking shots from all over the floor. He is able to make tough shots with a hand right in his face. He has shot over 38 percent from 3 two years running.

Knecht is a true three-level scorer. When the rim and 3-point line are taken away, he is more than capable of getting into the midrange and hitting tough shots on the move. He has a good post game that he uses to set up those looks. And his strong vertical lets him rise over defenders to get his shot off whenever he wants. 

Knecht is going to step in right away and help a team’s offense. There’s not much bust potential with him given how polished he already is as a scorer, his NBA size and his plus athleticism. 

Dalton Knecht weaknesses

The first weakness that is going to be listed on every Knecht scouting profile is his defense. He doesn’t have great technique, remaining upright and struggling with staying in front of faster players. He needs to improve at navigating ball screens and moving laterally. 

There is some hope for him to get better. He has plus positional size, which should help him compete on that end of the floor and allows him to get strong contests on shots. He also generally gives high effort. 

Knecht’s playmaking could also use some improvement. He’s an improved passer who can make basic reads, but he’s not at the level where he is going to be running a team’s offense like some of the bigger guards in the league. He has not exceeded one assist in any of his last eight games entering the Sweet 16. 

Lastly, there is the big age question. At 23 years old, how much more can he improve? There’s not much upside to him becoming a top-10 player in the league. But teams who draft him know that they are getting a bare minimum of a solid rotation player who can explode for points. 

Dalton Knecht NBA Mock Draft projection

Mock Draft projection: Late lottery

Teams like to swing for higher upside with the top picks in the draft, but Knecht isn’t going to fall too far. The teams in the low teens are the ones who are in more of a position to win sooner rather than later. Knecht can help them do just that. 

Dalton Knecht NBA player comparison

Plays like: A more dynamic Max Strus

The league is always going to have a place for dynamite shooters with size. Strus toiled in the G League for years before finally getting a chance to show what he could do and ended up starting for an NBA Finals team last year. 

Knecht has that same movement shooting that Strus excels at. They can both handle some secondary playmaking duties, although neither can be relied on as the main guy.

Knecht is a better, more explosive athlete than Strus. He has a bit more scoring versatility as well. Both are smart offensive players who can find pockets of empty space to get open. 

Defensively, Strus has become solid enough to avoid getting targeted. Knecht should be able to get to that same average level, once he gets coached up a little more in the NBA. 

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *