Knight entered the league in a dream scenario-- he joined a team without a point guard that needed him for heavy minutes right away. He led all rookies in minutes played and shot attempts, a right usually reserved to the cream of the crop draftees. Just look at the last few years of Rookie of the Year voting-- the guy who gets the most burn and the most touches usually always wins. Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, etc. Yet every once in a while, you get your Adam Morrisons in there shooting out of their minds to score 12 points on 12 attempts. When given these kinds of opportunities, some players flourish, others flounder. Brandon Knight floundered.
The problem is that the one thing that separates a point guard from a shooting guard is that the guy with the ball has to run a five man offense. Thus far, the evidence that Brandon Knight can do this is either shaky or non-existent.
A leading metric for a point guard's ability to run a five man offense is "assist percentage". This number reflects the percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted while he was on on the floor. Knight assisted 20.8% of his teammate's field goals in 2011-12, which is one of the lowest assist rates for a rookie point guard in recent NBA history. In this century, Knight ranks 122nd in assist percentage amongst rookie guards.
Some people point to the fact that Knight didn't have a summer league or a preseason to get to know his teammates or his coach's system. Neither did Kyrie Irving (36.5% AST), Ricky Rubio (37.4% AST) or Isaiah Thomas (25.6% AST). Others suggest that Knight's assist rate was low because his team shot poorly. Kyrie Irving's Cavaliers, Ricky Rubio's Timberwolves and Isaiah Thomas's Kings all shot worse than Detroit last year.
At some point, we need to set aside the excuses and look at the truth: Brandon Knight was a really, really bad point guard last season.