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God hates the Knicks (and potential picks at number 9)

As previously mentioned in the great article by Andre Oge, the New York Knicks came out of the NBA Draft Lottery no worse or better than they came in.  The Knicks wound up with the ninth overall pick and will have a good group of players to pick from if they don’t move up.

Realistically, the Knicks need everything, but they’re most likely looking for a versatile forward who can move the ball, play good defense on every position, and provide offense when needed.

The title of this article is “God hates the Knicks” because God does hate the Knicks.  Even when the Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the league, they find themselves either picking the same as their lottery spot or dropping down a pick or two.  Never once in franchise history have the Knicks moved up from their draft lottery spot.  They call it the “Ewing curse” as many feel David Stern rigged the 1985 Draft Lottery in favor of the Knicks, but it just seems like this franchise has rotten luck.

It’s not all bad, as the ninth pick in the draft has produced many All-Stars and even some Hall of Famers.  If anything, for whatever reason, number nine seems to be one of the more successful spots to pick from.  No one is really sure why, but the Knicks have a great opportunity to score big with this draft pick.

Here’s a look at some of the past picks at nine:

  • Charles Oakley
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Dirk Nowitski
  • Shawn Marion
  • Am’are Stoudemire
  • Andre Iguodala
  • Joakim Noah (when he was good)
  • Demar Derozen
  • Gordon Hayward
  • Kemba Walker
  • Trey Burke
  • Frank Kaminsky
  • Dennis Smith Jr.

Some of these picks, like Burke, Kaminsky, and Smith are stretches but they all look to be on their way to at least solid NBA careers.  To put it in perspective, the Knicks have had the least success of any franchise when it comes to first round draft picks.  Of their first round picks since 1988, only David Lee has gone on to play in an All-Star game (Kristaps Porzingis was injured and was replaced last season).

The Knicks have had historically bad draft picks, so hopefully they take the next Kemba Walker, not the next Frederic Weis.  There are plenty of good options at number nine.  Shall we take a look?

Michael Porter Jr.

Porter may have injury concerns after sitting out most of last season with a back issue, but the former Mizzou forward is exactly what the doctor ordered for the New York Knicks.  He is athletic, can guard anyone on the floor, and is instant offense if he’s healthy.

The knock on Porter is that no one knows if his back surgery was a one time deal or if he’s going to be a fragile player in the NBA.  If he can’t even last a full season where the NCAA plays about a third of the games the NBA does, what makes teams think he can last a full 82 games?  It’s an interesting question, but his talent may be too much to pass up if he falls to number nine.

Wendell Carter Jr.

Another Jr., Wendell Carter Jr. is a guy who the Knicks should give a very hard look to.  He’s not nearly as athletic as Porter, but he does everything under the sun and he’s exactly the kind of presence the Knicks need down low, especially if Kristaps Porzingis misses a significant time next season.

Carter was a stat stuffer at Duke, averaging 13.5 PPG, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks.  The Knicks were one of the worst teams in the league on the glass and a guy like Carter could help them be a tougher team defensively.  He’s not going to be Am’are Stoudemire on offense but he would be a welcome addition to this anemic Knicks defense.

Mikal Bridges

Bridges is probably the best of both worlds for the Knicks.  He plays better defense than Porter and has more offensive touch than Carter.  He may not have a set position, but in this new NBA he’ll easily find a spot as a small forward.

Bridges can shoot the three, averages 17.7 PPG, and is a long forward.  He can score, rebound, and play defense against pretty much anyone on the floor.  He’s clearly battle tested as he is an NCAA champion with Villanova, and he brings a toughness to the Knicks that they just don’t have right now.

Are the Knicks going to screw this up?  Probably.  They’re most likely going to take some lanky European that no one’s heard of and screw up yet another draft.  The Knicks haven’t had any luck, but they haven’t helped themselves at all with some of their selections.  The jury may still be out on Frank Ntilikina, but I personally don’t trust the Knicks to make the right decision.  We shall see, but either way God still hates the Knicks.

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