Hawks: Kevin Knox’s father says son is excited to play with an All-Star point guard

DHZ190303028 NYK vs LAC

The Atlanta Hawks are coming off their first win at State Farm Arena since November 22 after defeating the defending NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks 121-114, making them 2-0 this season against the team that booted them from postseason contention a year ago.

It was easily the best team win of the season for Nate McMillan‘s shorthanded squad. Missing Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic didn’t stop the Hawks from fighting all the way to the final whistle and giving the reigning champs their first loss of the season when leading at halftime; thanks to some outstanding team defense — Oneyka Okongwu, in particular, who turned in an All-NBA performance against Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Hawks will have to now string together multiple wins if they want to make a push in the Eastern Conference. It seems that trading Cam Reddish may have ignited this team.

Reddish voiced his displeasure with his role after the Hawks lost in the Eastern Conference Finals, and those sentiments continued into this season. Ultimately, Travis Schlenk was forced to move the former Duke Blue Devil after he requested a trade. Schlenk acquired a first-round pick and Kevin Knox from the Knicks for Reddish.

Trading for Knox, who Schlenk plans to keep, is all upside at this point. The Hawks don’t need him to make the playoffs by any means, as they showed Monday night against the Bucks. However, if Knox can find a role in Atlanta, it could propel them further than Reddish could because of the rift he created in the locker room with his lack of effort and desire to leave.

It really shouldn’t surprise Hawks fans if Knox doesn’t carve out a role initially; however, that hasn’t stopped Kevin Knox Sr., Knox’s father who played wide receiver for Florida State and the Buffalo Bills, from fueling the hype train of Kevin Knox in Atlanta.

“Kevin’s excited,” Knox Sr. said. “He sees opportunity there, a more fast-paced offense to play with a point guard in Trae Young who is an All-Star. He gets in the lane and kicks out to people for open shots. Kevin’s really excited to be coached by Coach Nate [McMillan], a proven coach who played in the league.”

Knox comes from a situation in New York where he only played in 13 games this season, but his limited minutes began early last season. That absence from the Knicks’ rotation carried over into this season, making Knox understandably frustrated.

Last month when the NBA was hit hard by a COVID-19 outbreak, Knox was thrusted into the lineup as the Knicks faced the Bucks. Coming off the bench cold, Knox hit 5-of-12 from beyond the arc, then recorded nine points and seven rebounds in the next game against the Warriors. After the Knicks got healthy, Knox was relegated back to the bench.

It is a strange situation in New York, but Knox gets a fresh start, and the Hawks get a win/win situation. If Knox pans out, Travis Schlenk will look like a genius. If he doesn’t, Schlenk got a first-round pick for a player who never wanted to be in Atlanta in the first place. Knox Sr. knows that.

“The agent Aaron Turner talked to Atlanta GM [Travis Schlenk]. This is a trade both parties wanted. Atlanta gets a first-round pick and a young player who is the same age as Cam Reddish. We appreciate the opportunity.”



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