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Untapped Potential: Brandon Knight

Mark J Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Untapped Potential series. This is a look back at some athletes with shortened careers or circumstances that prevented them from reaching their full potential. Today’s spotlight is on former NBA guard Brandon Knight. Our own Mason Wood has previous details here about the series’ beginnings.

Knight was taken as the eighth overall selection by the Detroit Pistons in the 2011 NBA Draft after a one-season stint at the University of Kentucky. The former Wildcat could score on all three levels which was made immediately evident in his leap from college to the NBA. Knight showed flashes of being a score-first guard with confidence in his rookie season.

Knight’s Rookie Season

The Florida native posted 12.8 points per game, a 41.5% field goal percentage, 38% from three-point land, and just under 76% from the free throw line. Knight even posted a couple of 30 point performances in his first two seasons with the Pistons before being sent to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013.

The way he could score on all three levels almost could draw comparisons to a young Jrue Holiday. Unfortunately though, injuries would wipe out the promising start to Knight’s career.

Injuries/Trades Ruin Potential

Knight hurt his hamstring on opening night in 2013, which cost him eight games. The All-Rookie guard hurt his ankle after a move to the Phoenix Suns and later a bone bruise, effectively ending his 2015 campaign. The injuries just kept coming for the Kentucky alum. Knight was dealt from the Suns to the Houston Rockets, then traded again to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2019 season. Knight returned to Pistons in 2020.

Where is Knight Now?

Knight is looking to earn a spot back on an NBA roster presently. Knight’s last action was a stint with the Dallas Mavericks last season. Now, as the injuries appear to be behind him, we all wonder “what if” Knight never got hurt? Could he have become the next big-name guard in the NBA? What potential do you think Knight could have had?

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