Brandon Knight was overrated at Kentucky overrated by the Pistons and then surprisingly just plain over in Detroit.

There hasn’t been a more polarizing Pistons player since Grant Hill and Knight’s rapid ascent only fueled the debate.

At Kentucky Knight turned the ball over too much generated too few steals and shot too inefficiently. Yet he played a lot (which boosted his counting numbers into record-breaking territory) hit some big shots during Kentucky’s Final Four run and continued a lineage of John Calipari’s one-and-done point guards — John Wall (No. 1 pick) Tyreke Evans (rookie of the year) and Derrick Rose (No. 1 pick and rookie of the year) — that had been very impressive.

Many expected Knight would be picked No. 3 in the 2011 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz or maybe No. 5 by the Toronto Raptors. But he deservedly fell to the No. 8 where the Pistons made what I thought was the correct choice. As underwhelmed as I was by Knight the big men I coveted more already were off the board and I was basically at a draw between Knight and Kawhi Leonard (oops). Writing about Knight at the time I discussed his flaws and then continued:

“There are plenty of reasons to like Knight. He’s talented smart hardworking athletic and long — a special combination. How many players possess all five of those attributes and fail?”

Of course the Pistons jumped on the positives immediately comparing Knight to Chauncey Billups and making Knight their starting point guard just seven games into his NBA career.

A lot went wrong during the two years Knight started for Detroit and a large majority of it was not his fault but his presence was particularly felt in one area:

Knight ruined the Pistons’ offense.

He didn’t do it singlehandedly and the powers that put him in position to fail deserve more blame but as far as players go he’s the main culprit.

It largely went unnoticed because the Pistons have been mostly terrible on both sides of the ball for so long — they’re the only team besides the Charlotte Bobcats with bottom-10 offenses and defenses each of the last two years — but Detroit actually had a better-than-NBA-average offense during their 30-52 2010-11 season. That offense wasn’t pretty relying heavily on isolation play but it was much more effective — ranking 15th in offensive rating — than the last two years when the Pistons ranked 26th and 21st.