Knicks looking to break ominous trend in exchange for the NBA Draft Lottery

MSG CEO James Dolan has had an exhilarating experience over the past few days watching his second Garden team, the Rangers, come back from a 3-1 deficit and rally after rally to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

A handful of Knicks were in Game 7, including coaches Tom Thibodeau and Emmanuel Quickley, and perhaps a future in Donovan Mitchell.

Dolan would love if that Rangers luck could spill over to the pingpong balls that will roll in Chicago on Tuesday when the Knicks are competing in the NBA Draft Lottery again.

After a much-needed one-year hiatus, the Knicks are back at the consolation table – this time with senior executive William Wesley sitting on stage to represent the Webgone franchise.

The Knicks are seated on their share of the lottery, for the team with the lowest combined win percentage over the past 21 seasons.

With the Knicks running late (12–11 after the All-Star break), his odds for top picks worsened when he scored 37–45 to finish 11th seed.

William Wesley, left, and Leon Rose
William Wesley, left, and Leon Rose
Charles Weinzelberg/New York Post

Strong probability remains at 11. But on the bright side, the Knicks may be due to fail to advance in the lottery since winning the epic first “Frozen Envelope” event in 1985.

Will ‘The Curse Of Patrick Ewing’ Finally Break? Even Ewing sitting on stage in 2019 couldn’t take the knicks off his lottery schneider when he fell from No. 2 to No. 3.

With the 11th seed, the Knicks have a 2 percent chance of winning the top overall pick, with Auburn pointing to power forward Jabari Smith as the player he loved most during the college season.

The Knicks have a 9.4 percent chance of securing a top-four pick, and Purdue’s charming combo guard Jaden Ivey will be high on their list if they pick anywhere from second to fourth. Most likely the nicks won’t go up at all. They have a 77.6 percent chance of staying at 11 and a 12.6 percent chance of falling to 12.

Wesley, a key executive considered to have the most influence on President Leon Rose, traveled to nearly every road game this season. He can often be animated on the sidelines when things go awry. It would be interesting to see his reaction when the Knicks slipped to number 12.

Interesting prospects available in the 11 range include Baylor’s versatile short forward Jeremy Sochan, Wisconsin’s two-way shooting guard Johnny Davis and Arizona’s wing Benedict Mathurin.

When Rose and Wesley are involved and with their ties to John Calipari, all eyes are on the Kentucky players, so point guard Tyty Washington and shooting guard Shadon Sharp cannot be discounted. Sharpe did not play a game for Kentucky as he joined during the school year and opted for the draft.

The Knicks need a true point defender and the draft is light in that department. Didn’t play in the best point guard college available – Dyson Daniels of G-League Ignite.

Another tempting prospect is Jalen Duren, another done center of Memphis, but sources believe he’d be too much for a project for Thibodeau to sign off on.

Following the lottery, the Draft Combine will be held in Chicago where some players stage the game, but the top lotteries usually conduct measurements and interviews with clubs. Thibodeau was impressed with shooting guard Quentin Grimes in last year’s combination and took 25 after the Knicks traded him back.

The Knicks will have a large contingent in Chicago, but Rose probably won’t speak to the media. He has not spoken to the press since September. The former agent gave an end-of-season interview to the Garden-run MSG network and was not asked about the upcoming draft.


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