Knicks Get Ninth Overall Pick in NBA Draft
On Tuesday night the NBA held its annual Draft Lottery. Teams either tanked enough to warrant a first round lottery pick or made key trades to earn more ping pong balls. The New York Knicks were among those teams. After gaining the eighth overall pick last year in Frank Ntilikina, the Knicks hoped for similar results this year. As projected, New York received the ninth overall lottery pick. With the draft still a month away, this is just the first step in a long road ahead for this team.
Perspective on the Prospects
With many talented prospects in the draft, such as Trae Young and DeAndre Ayton, the Knicks will need to consider their actual need. Over the course of the last season, the Knicks struggled to fill the void on the wings left by Carmelo Anthony. Additionally, many fans were critical of the team’s decision to draft Frank Ntilikina. While Ntilikina didn’t show the full potential the front office was presumably hoping for, he still had flashes of greatness. By his second year, Ntilikina may do a better a job of handling his responsibilities as the starting point guard. However, the Knicks may be gambling by not drafting another point guard, such as Collin Sexton.
The team’s greatest need right now is defense. New York had one of the opponent points allowed per game this season with 108 points. A defensive minded player, such as Mikal Bridges, would be a sound choice for the team. However, New York may opt for a bigger name, such as Trae Young, if still possible by the ninth pick. New York hasn’t been huge on drafting big names, necessarily, with Frank Ntilikina and Kristaps Porzingis being their latest picks. While Ntilikina still has room for improvement, Porzingis developed into an All-star. He will, though, miss a huge amount of next season due to a torn ACL. That may also influence the front office’s decision, as they may want to draft a temporary replacement for him, such as DeAndre Ayton or Mohamed Bamba. Above all, the team needs to consider who is best going to put them in a position to win.
The Knicks have to decide what kind of team they want to be. Teams such as the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers built playoff contention teams through the draft. Other teams, such as the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings, have yet fully to capitalize on the draft. The Knicks have taken wise steps thus far, such as choosing David Fizdale as their new head coach and continuing to focus on their vision of a young, developed core. By continuing to grow the team through the draft the Knicks may finally have the pieces to start being a winning franchise. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. While the team has been rumored to get Colin Sexton, the choice inevitably belongs to the front office. If the Knicks can make the right choice in the upcoming draft, there is no reason to count them out of the playoffs next season.