3 Player comparisons for Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Dalton Knecht

The Los Angeles Lakers have selected Dalton Knecht at No. 17 in the 2024 NBA Draft. Who can the Lakers realistically expect Knecht to become?
2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Los Angeles Lakers have invested in one of their biggest areas of weakness at the 2024 NBA Draft. In a development that few saw coming, Dalton Knecht unexpectedly slid to No. 17 overall and fell right into the Lakers' laps.

As head coach JJ Redick configures his rotation, the short-term appeal and long-term upside that Knecht brings to the table is certain to be a key area of focus.

Knecht is coming off of a remarkable 2023-24 season with the Tennessee Volunteers. After spending four seasons between Northeastern Junior College and Northern Colorado, he took one of the most respected conferences in the country by storm, winning SEC Player of the Year.

As a 23-year-old incoming rookie, however, Knecht was seemingly a casualty of the mentality that players in their 20s are too close to their prime to be adequately developed.

There's ample evidence to suggest that isn't true, but narratives will be what they will be. Los Angeles was the beneficiary of that reality, with Knecht, projected by many to be a top-10 selection, somehow falling outside the lottery.

As the Lakers attempt to integrate Knecht into their rotation, there's a simple question that can help define his role: Who are his upside comparisons at the NBA level?

Low-End Upside Comparison: Corey Kispert

Knecht projects to be an elite three-point shooter. He's also one of the more impressive athletes in this class. At the 2024 NBA Draft Combine, he ranked No. 1 in the shuttle run and No. 2 in the lane agility drill. He also recorded a 39.0" max vertical leap and was measured as having a 6'9" wingspan.

In terms of who Knecht compares to in those areas, Washington Wizards swingman Corey Kispert is a fair comparison on the lower end of the upside conversation.

Kispert has a slightly shorter wingspan and fell just shy of Knecht's mark in the max vertical leap department. They're both high-level shooters with NBA-caliber agility and understated explosiveness that can be useful on both ends of the floor.

Kispert has managed to carve out a solid role for himself in the NBA, averaging 13.4 points and 2.3 three-point field goals made on .486/.383/.726 shooting in 2023-24.

If the Lakers were to land a Kispert equivalent, they would have an efficient shooter who can come in and space the floor. That alone would make this pick worthwhile, as Los Angeles ranked No. 24 in three-point field goals made this past season.

Defensive questions persist, but the Lakers bringing in a Kispert-caliber player should be viewed as a win at No. 17 overall.