top of page

Analyzing the Best NBA Landing Spots for Dalton Knecht

In less than three weeks, Dalton Knecht will discover where he will spend his first few seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). As we approach that date, it becomes increasingly clear which teams might be targeting Knecht.

One main concern is how Knecht will fare in a system that may not be tailored specifically to his abilities. At Tennessee, Rick Barnes structured the offense around Knecht, running him off double screens, flare screens, and baseline pin-downs. Will NBA teams be willing to do the same for a rookie? They may not need to, as 70% of Knecht’s jumpers were considered “contested,” and he had a true shooting percentage of 59%, which is excellent.

According to DraftExpress, Knecht has “positioned himself pretty firmly as a mid-lottery pick” and has drawn strong interest from Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio, Memphis, and Utah. With that in mind, analyzing the best fit for Knecht becomes more straightforward.


The Hornets finished the season with an overall record of 21-61, placing 13th in the Eastern Conference. Knecht would already have an ally on the roster in former Volunteer Grant Williams. LaMelo Ball, the starting point guard, has a shifty playstyle and a willingness to distribute the ball, which would benefit Knecht’s start. Adding Knecht to the roster alongside Tre Mann, Brandon Miller, and Seth Curry would make the Hornets a very fun team to watch and a team that other teams hate playing defense against.


The Trail Blazers also finished with a 21-61 record, placing them last in the Western Conference. Struggling to find success post-Damian Lillard, Portland needs a consistent scorer with the microwave ability of Knecht. Pairing Knecht with promising big man Deandre Ayton and young guards Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe gives the Blazers a roster full of promise and a solid foundation.


The Spurs finished with a 22-60 record, placing them 14th in the Western Conference. Victor Wembanyama, the seven-foot-four-inch center from France, is already making headlines. Teaming Knecht with Wembanyama would create one of the more exciting duos in the West. While the Spurs are not yet playoff contenders and appear to be some time away from it, adding Knecht makes them must-see TV.


The Grizzlies finished with a 27-55 record, putting them at 13th in the Western Conference. Adding Knecht to a core that includes Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. is compelling, but the idea of Knecht staying in Tennessee and potentially bringing new fans to the Grizzlies is also enticing. Memphis should have a bounce-back year with a healthy Morant, and adding Dalton to that mix makes it even more powerful.


The Jazz finished with a 31-51 record, placing them 12th in the Western Conference. If Utah keeps Lauri Markkanen, pairing the seven-footer with Knecht would excite the Jazz faithful. Additionally, young rim protector Walker Kessler and underrated guard Collin Sexton would complement Knecht well. Much like the Spurs, Utah is a good bit away from contending to win anything of note, but adding Knecht to their core makes them a feisty underdog.


While all these landing spots would allow Dalton Knecht to showcase his talent, Charlotte and Utah stand out. Both teams have players capable of getting Knecht the ball in the right spots and solid defensive pieces to help ease his transition to the NBA. Regardless of where he lands, Vol Nation is eager to see Knecht demonstrate his skills on the professional stage.

Photo Above | On3


bottom of page