Dalton Knecht Compares Favorably to All-Time Great Sharpshooter

Dalton Knecht going to the Lakers feels like a steal just like Klay Thompson was way back when for Golden State.
2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Yes, get the puns ready about his last name being Knecht, but Dalton Knecht is one of the greatest stories so far in the NBA Draft. The Los Angeles Lakers may have found another diamond in the rough just like the Golden State Warriors did over a decade ago when they drafted Klay Thompson out of Washington State. I know you probably think I have lost my mind, but hear me out.

College Careers

Both Dalton Knecht and Klay Thompson played three years in a college not counting junior colleges. Thompson got one of the final scholarships back in 2007 from Washington State when others in the PAC-10 had run out of scholarships.

Dalton Knecht never got a scholarship offer, so he went first to a JC, then to Northern Colorado which plays in the Big Sky Conference. Knecht was 5’4 as a high school freshman, so he was a slow starter when it came to basketball. He averaged 20 points with Northern Colorado as he entered the transfer portal in 2023. He grew three inches between his freshman year in college to what he is now at 6’6. Tennessee beat out North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, and others for his services all due to a missed flight out of Knoxville according to Yahoo Sports. He fell in love with Knoxville, Tennessee. He also believed Tennessee was his best path to an NBA career.

He was right. Knecht nearly had the same field-goal percentage and the three-point percentage as Thompson. While Knecht won the SEC Player of the Year in 2024, Thompson was a midseason candidate for the John Wooden Award.

There is no doubt that both were studs in college. They both have two of the purest shooting forms seen in basketball.

Knecht Lives Up to the Moment

In all of 2024, including all SEC Conference games, conference tournament games, and March Madness, Dalton Knecht only scored in the single digits once. He played better on the road in the SEC against some of the most physical teams in the country.

Jason McIntyre on Thursday said on The Herd, “[Knecht] was the steal of the draft.”

When watching the Lakers Nation draft party Wednesday night, the commentators kept saying, “if you get a chance at Knecht, you run that pick to the podium as soon as you are on the clock.”

He’s a baller. Dalton Knecht is already in the top-five betting odds to win Rookie of the Year according to ESPN. He is the reason most of us fans will be watching the Las Vegas Summer League and California Summer League. I haven’t been this excited to watch a shooter comparable to Klay Thompson on the Lakers since when we thought Brandon Ingram would be that.

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