The New York Knicks (31-51 in 2016-17) had a slight chance to finally get lucky at the NBA Draft Lottery last night with a 5.3% chance of being awarded the top pick in the upcoming draft. They had approximately an 18% percent shot of getting in the top three.
Nothing doing. The 33rd NBA Draft Lottery went off pretty much as predicted with the team with the league’s worst record, the Brooklyn Nets, winning the first pick. They had the best chance of being awarded the first pick at 25%, but unfortunately for them, they no longer own that pick. They traded the rights to that selection away tot he Boston Celtics back in 2013 when then-GM Billy King foolishly mortgaged the farm to bring in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.
The Knicks, represented at the proceedings in a private room at the New York Hilton Midtown by a dapper Walt Frazier, could finish anywhere in the order from first to tenth. They drew the eighth slot, not good enough for these Knicks who need so much.
The lottery basically determines the first 14 picks in the draft and includes the teams that did not qualify for the postseason. If any of those teams traded their picks away, like the Nets, they are out of luck.
“Opportunity…seven, could have been ten.” Knicks president Phil Jackson said after the lottery. “We’re able to live with it. I think we’re good at what we do. We look forward to a young player that we’ll be able to draft next month.”
“I think there’s gonna be probably fifty kids that are going to be in this draft that are going to be really well known. Sixty get drafted, they’ll be maybe ten that are unknown. I don’t anticipate we’re gonna pull a rabbit out of a hat. We’re looking for the best player at this point to fill what we need.
Frazier, Jackson’s teammate from the Knicks’ championship teams four decades ago, was hoping to bring his old buddy some good luck, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“I brought my best suit, my ring, my jive chain, my prayers…it just didn’t work,” he said. The draft is chock of full point guards and the Knicks just happen to be in the market for one.
“I think point guard is obviously a priority, and luckily in this draft there are a lot of point guards, so they should get a good player.”
The Knicks won’t get one of the top point guards but can still land a quality one. The mock drafters are already predicting the Knicks will end up with N.C. State’s Dennis Smith or the 6’5” French product, Frank Ntilikina but with Jackson at the helm, everything is in play these days.
As for the Nets, they did not participate in the lottery but have two picks in the first round of the draft, to be held June 22 at (where else?) Barclays Center. They made a trade with Washington this season (Began Bogdanovic) to get one of those picks (No. 22) and they also have Boston’s pick, which is the 27th overall selection.
The Knicks could have picked as high as sixth but lost a coin flip with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who finished with the same record.
2017 NBA Draft Lottery Results: