The New York Knicks were disappointed again in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery, losing ground with the ping pong balls and dropping to No. 8 overall.
The New York Knicks needed plenty of luck to gain any positioning in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery. The Knicks’ costly victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the regular season finale may have essentially cost the team a few spots in next month’s draft.
New York was pegged before the start of the lottery as having the highest percentage chance to get the No. 7 selection. This designation was confirmed a month earlier during the special regular season record tiebreaker drawing with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The possibility of landing at the eighth spot was only originally measured to be at 22.6 percent heading into the night and once again served as an example of the unpredictable nature of lottery night.
New York looked to their legendary point guard Walt Frazier for good luck as he took the podium as the team’s representative during the lottery show. Frazier, being known for his Hall of Fame career with the Knicks leading them to the franchise’s only two NBA championships, is still a symbol of hope for the franchise.
The hope faded rather quickly as league deputy commissioner Mark Tatum pulled the Knicks card a little early at No. 8.
The pick was a drop-off from the expected seventh spot originally estimated at 57.2 percent going into the lottery. The minor disappointment in falling from seven to eight could possibly lead to losing out on a projected standout guard like Dennis Smith or De’Aaron Fox.
Head coach Jeff Hornacek and Knicks management could possibly be staring at the reality of digging a little bit deeper than expected to find the next young star to put alongside Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez.
A player that has surfaced over the past few weeks to catch the Knicks’ attention has been Frank Ntilikina of France. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla spoke about the 6’5″ 18-year-old’s abilities right now and how he can fit into the Knicks plans possibly at No. 8.
“He can make decisions well. He shoots it well. He’s athletic. He could be a good defender. And you’re also looking at a kid who’s still 18 years old. His long-term potential as an NBA player is very good.”
The addition of another young international player with plenty of raw talent has worked out well for team president Phil Jackson in the past. It is a concern that going this route again could hold the franchise starving for success back a few more years. Can’t miss prospects such as Malik Monk from Kentucky are options the Knicks want to consider, especially if Ntilikina needs time to adjust to living in a new country.
The unknown situation regarding free agent Derrick Rose has the Knicks looking hungry for a point guard. Two picks in the second round (No. 44 and 58) will serve as either trade assets or help to fill out the roster with young talent at other positions. It is critical for New York to carefully look at the point guard talent taken in the first seven picks and quickly assess the risk factors on each player.
Jackson spoke with the media after the lottery, giving his optimistic view on dropping to the No. 8 spot in the draft.
“Our opportunity was seven, could have been 10, so eight we’ll live with, I think that we’re good at what we do. We look forward to a young player that we’ll be able to draft next month.”
“We’ll go through the strategy of what we have to do as we go along here, We have a guard need, we have a wing need. So we know what we need.”
The New York Knicks continue to have horrible luck in 2017 and it appears they will continue the trend of putting bandaids on huge problems. Jackson has his work cut out for him choosing a true floor general to lead a young team back to promise.