The Knicks had a 9 percent shot at the top pick. The hopes and dreams of an entire franchise, a city, rode on the shoulders of that 9 percent. But of course, it’s the Knicks so nothing can go their way.
Instead of the top pick, or the sixth pick that they were slated to get, the Knicks fell to eighth in the NBA Draft Lottery. Fucking eighth. I’m pissed. This is an absolute joke. Instead of Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman or LaMelo Ball, the Knicks are going to hedge their bets on the eighth pick.
The absolute best case scenario here is Ball, Obi Toppin or Deni Avdija fall to the eighth pick. Toppin is a power forward with an incredible offensive skill set. Despite a low sample size, Toppin converted on nearly 40 percent of his threes in college. He’s a really efficient scorer, notching a 67 percent efficient field goal average. Toppin’s game really allows him to play well in tandem with R.J. Barrett. This would also limit Julius Randle’s playing time, which is also a huge plus.
That said, he is on the older side at 22 years old. But this could work in New York’s favor as he’d already have the maturity that so many of the team’s younger players lack. Plus, Sports Illustrated has him slated at third overall. So we’re hoping for a massive drop.
Avdija is also an option here. The forward out of Tel Aviv has a ton of upside. He’s a solid rebounder and has some solid court vision. I could see him being a good ball distributor as he grows in the NBA.
That said, he’s a god awful shooter. Last season, he shot 27 percent from three-point range. Mind you, that’s an international three. It’s much shorter than the NBA three.
If Avdija can improve his shooting and defense, he could make for a great pairing alongside Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. He’s also projected to go anywhere from fourth to tenth, so it’s more reasonable to think he’d be available at 8.
There are, of course, other options. The Knicks need a point guard in the baddest way. Both Tyrese Haliburton and Killian Hayes could be on the board. Haliburton has a good, if not weird-looking, jumper on him. He’s smart and could be the type of facilitator the Knicks offense needs.
Hayes might not be a shooter, but he could be a great distributor at the NBA level with his court vision. That said, he had a major turnover problem in Germany. He averaged 4.7 per 36 minutes, according to Tankathon. If you heard a noise, don’t worry. It’s just me sobbing at the prospect of a Knicks’ point guard turning the ball over 5 times in a game.
Once upon a time, the lottery blessed the Knicks with Patrick Ewing. Now, it hands the team an absolute joke of a pick. As a Knicks fan, I got to say I hate the lack of luck. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to drown out my sorrows with 1800 while reading about who should replace James Dolan.
BANNER: Tongxin Liu//WIkimedia Commons