The last time the New York Knicks held a lottery pick in the NBA draft, Kristaps Porzingis received a shower of boos from the crowd. That number four pick turned out pretty great for the Knicks, as Porzingis is now looked at as the future franchise player despite this catastrophic season.
So with New York’s record of 27-45, they sit 12th in the eastern conference and are the sixth worst team in the NBA.
Coach Jeff Horneak and the Knicks stated “they won’t buy into the tank” even though it’s not difficult to see the tank is in full stride. The guys who are getting the most playing time consist of players who are definitely going to be around next year; Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez and Ron Baker just to name a few. The front office has also stayed committed to trading Carmelo Anthony this upcoming summer. They can say they aren’t tanking all they’d like, but it sure looks like the Knicks have given up once again.
Creating the best future possible is the goal for this team. Rebuild around Porzingis and Hernangomez, and trade Carmelo for picks or young talent. Those are just two places to start… the third is the draft.
How successful can the “tanking” process be for the rest of the year? What’s the highest pick the Knicks can get?
With two recent losses to the Nets, one to the Jazz, and upcoming games against playoff contenders like the Heat, Raptors and Celtics, the tanking process has gone well so far and the Knicks have a legitimate chance to keep losing and obtain a top five pick.
The Celtics (Nets pick), Lakers, Suns, Magic, and 76ers are the only teams right now to have a projected higher pick, and the top 3 picks in the draft are chosen randomly.
I don’t think the Knicks will get into that top three. The Nets, Suns, and Lakers look to have that solidified. Realistically, the Knicks are looking towards a fourth, fifth, or sixth pick which isn’t bad at all.
But, then comes the beauty of the NBA Draft Lottery. Sitting at number six right now, the Knicks have to chance to end up in the top three and also picks six – nine.
As you can see by the graphic above, there is a chance the Knicks can land in the top three. In that hypothetical world; you can expect to see the Knicks draft a point guard like Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz or possibly a star-potential forward in Josh Jackson.
But let’s be real, they have a combined 21.5 % chance at a top three and that probably sounds better then it even should. There is a 74.4 % chance to land at either six or seven. As a Knicks fan, you should not expect to land a better pick than that because Knicks fans get their hopes up too high already to often. So just play this safe and hope we land at six and worst case seven. Anything better is a blessing.
In the way more realistic hypothetical world where the Knicks do land at lets say six, the likes of De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Dennis Smith Jr. are likely candidates. Especially since the Knicks clearly need help at guard.
At Tankathon.com, you are able to sim the NBA Draft Lottery to see how the picks unfold. A fun way to see where the Knicks and other teams may end up, but remember the lottery only happens once. The Knicks can, in some crazy strange world where all things break in the Knicks direction, land the number one pick or, in the seemingly horrible world the Knicks live in, they can land the ninth pick.
Perhaps the scariest aspect of the entire situation is no pick in the NBA Draft is a surefire prospect. Granted we look at certain players to have little to no bust potential, but it is all a educated guess in the long run. There aren’t specific odds on this but generally speaking, its just as hard (or easy depending how you look at it) to be very happy with your draft pick at number two or number nine.
So, no matter where the Knicks land, their is a chance they find a franchise player, and a chance they draft a reincarnation of Johnny Flynn. If you don’t know Johnny Flynn, exactly. If you do know him, you know he was a Point Guard drafted before Stephen Curry in 2009 and has been out of the league for almost 5 years.