2019 Knicks Draft Lottery Post-Mortem: Five Takeaways

I, alongside many of our KFS contributors, fans, and other content creators, attended the Knicks draft lottery party at Slattery’s yesterday. Despite not receiving the #1 overall pick, not all hopes are lost. Here are some of my quick and rapid thoughts below:

  1. #3 is still better than #4 or #5: Consider ourselves lucky that we didn’t fall into the dreaded #5 position. Fans alike felt frustration that the odds on Tankathon or on The Knicks Wall offseason app showed a strong likelihood (47.9% exact) of receiving the #5 pick. After the Grizzlies, Lakers, & Pelicans jumped into the Top 4, many of us felt scared that the Knicks would drop out. However, the Suns, Cavaliers, & Bulls (2nd, 3rd, and 4th worst teams respectively) all dropped to the 5th, 6th, & 7th seeds respectively giving us a glimmer of hope. After learning that the Lakers received the #4 pick, the Knicks still had the best likelihood of receiving the #1 pick of all the teams. We ended up #3, but it’s not really a huge disappointment.
  2. AD’s still a possibility: Despite dropping to #3, don’t necessarily count the Knicks out of the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. For one, Zion on the Pelicans solves one issue of having to trade him away. The Knicks could potentially package the #3 pick, along with a combination of Dennis Smith Jr, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, and/or Lance Thomas to get Davis. The Knicks could also include the 2021 unprotected Dallas 1st round pick conveyed to the team after the Mavericks fell to the 10th pick and gave their pick to the Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers potentially have an intriguing offer package with the #4 overall pick. However, is the #4 pick plus a combo of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma enough to convince new GM David Griffin that this is the right package?
  3. The draft is still more than a month away: Many have already concluded that RJ Barrett is the consensus #3 pick. However, it’s still way too early to make that conclusion. Things can change between now and the draft, including the NBA Draft Combine and individual workouts, that can sway the Knicks front office that someone like a Jarrett Culver is a better pick. Therefore, it’s not necessarily appropriate to make a steadfast declaration just yet.
  4. Blatant Tanking is not worth it anymore: The race to the bottom is not worth the shameless losing anymore. Teams that used to benefit with being in the bottom 3 don’t have the same assurance of receiving a top 3 pick. Just look at the Bulls, Cavs, & Suns. The NBA Draft Lottery has become a true crapshoot now. There’s no incentive to deliberately tank and take drastic steps towards that direction.
  5. The Knicks Draft Lottery Party was a blast and not all Knicks fans were disappointed: In typical fashion, the tabloids and former tabloid writers have begun to write their doom and gloom pieces about the Knicks. The one particular point is the outlandish claim that we were all dejected. That was 100% false. The Draft Lottery Party was a huge success with hundreds of people who showed up to support the Knicks. Fans watching on TV could easily notice the difference between our loyal and rabid fanbase compared to other teams. Potentially more than $1,000 will be raised to go to the Garden of Dreams foundation. And yes, there were fans satisfied with the #3 pick. So no, it was not a tearful event for us Knicks fans, despite how we may be portrayed on national television over the next few days.

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