Dalton Knecht scouting report: 3 best 2024 NBA Draft destinations for Tennessee sharpshooter

Dalton Knecht
Credit: Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Take it from the architect of the champion Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens: Every team wants more shooting.

The best shooter available in the draft might be Tennessee All-American Dalton Knecht.  

A prolific scorer with footwork and handles, upper-body strength to finish, and balance to attack bigger defenders, Knecht made 39.7 percent of his 3-pointers last season and averaged 21.7 points to win the SEC Player of the Year award.

A 5-foot-8 sophomore in high school, Knecht measured at nearly 6-6 at the NBA Draft Combine in May. He’s 23, which some will drag as a negative, but he’s physically and emotionally mature with an approach to basketball Tennessee coach Rick Barnes credits for getting him to this stage after a college career that began at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado.

Knecht is not a lockdown defender or a strong one-on-one defender, meaning he’ll be challenged regularly at the NBA level. But testing numbers indicate the ability and agility are there for Knecht to make a jump in that area, too.

For now, NBA teams also won’t be counting on him to take minutes at the point. His ball-handling is sufficient, but his vision didn’t stand out at any level of the college game. He had 153 assists in 103 games for Northern Colorado and Tennessee.

But doubt Knecht at your own risk.

Barnes said nobody expected stardom from Knecht when he came to Tennessee, much like when he was lightly recruited even by junior college programs coming out of high school.

A self-made superstar who put up 37 points in his final game with the Vols, a 72-66 Elite Eight loss to Purdue, Knecht tested well at the NBA Draft Combine.

He led all prospects tested at the combine in the shuttle run (2.79 seconds) and was second among small forwards – his official NBA position at the event — in the lane agility drill (10.56), also posting a max vertical of 39 inches. He also has a longer standing reach than G League prospect Ron Holland and a wingspan of 6-9.

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Three best NBA Draft fits for Dalton Knecht

Memphis Grizzlies (9th overall): Lucking into Knecht this late in the lottery would be a Godsend with Ja Morant’s ability to create and kick the ball to shooters, something we can only imagine because of Morant’s availability the past two seasons and the Grizzlies’ woeful outside shooting.

Portland Trail Blazers (7th and 14th overall): Knecht could slide right into the starting lineup next to the Blazers’ youthful core of lottery finds, including 2023 No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson. Portland was dead last in 3-point shooting last season.

Chicago Bulls (11th overall): Subtracting Alex Caruso opens a scoring and shooting role immediately and Knecht does enough to get himself open to be an impact scorer in a secondary role, regardless of where Zach LaVine winds up.

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Dalton Knecht: NBA Draft Combine measurements

Height: 6-5 ¼Weight: 212Wingspan: 6-9Reach: 8-10.5

Nick Galle covers the NBA for Field Level Media

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