After being selected by the Knicks with the ninth pick in the 2018 draft out of Kentucky, Knox enjoyed a productive rookie season for a rebuilding 17-65 New York club. The 6’7″ forward averaged a career-best 12.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.1 APG and 0.6 SPG in a career-most 28.8 MPG, starting in 57 of his 75 healthy games.
Knox has never scaled those heights again in his successive three NBA seasons of action. The 22-year-old has yet to average better than half of that scoring mark across three unproductive seasons with New York and the Hawks, to whom he was traded in January.
After head coach Tom Thibodeau took over in 2020, Knox found himself a fringe rotation player, averaging 11.0 MPG in just 42 games during the team’s playoff-bound 2020/21 season.
Last year, Knox cameoed in just 13 games with the Knicks before being dealt to Atlanta. In 17 games with the Hawks, Knox averaged just 6.5 MPG. The Hawks did not tender a qualifying offer to Knox this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Considering the Pistons’ youth movement, it makes sense for the team to take flyers on young lottery selections like Knox and Marvin Bagley III, as Detroit builds around star point guard Cade Cunningham and 2022 lottery picks Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren.