Knicks hoping for a Big Win on Lottery Night
‘The NBA Draft Lottery is set to kick off the rebuild for 14 different franchises. Three teams in particular have a lot riding on this moment: the New York Knicks, the Phoenix Suns, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The lottery will determine where one of the various budding college stars will be playing next season. While the prospect of young talent always matters, this lottery pick is so important because of one name: Zion Williamson. Before we go any further, let’s just do a quick breakdown of how this all works.
How does it work?
The system is similar to other types of lotteries. The bottom 14 teams draw a number which places them in line for the actual draft night in July. Teams with the worst records are guaranteed a top 1-5 draft pick. Moreover, those same teams are ranked on the likelihood of receiving the first overall pick. As it currently stands, the Knicks, the Suns, and the Cavaliers each have a 14% chance of landing the first overall pick. Thus, there is a strong likelihood that Zion Williamson will be heading to one of those three cities. Mass speculation has suggested that the Knicks will end up with that first overall pick. If so, it’s very obvious who fans want.
Williamson is, without a doubt, the most dominant college player coming out of this draft. In his one season at Duke, Williamson averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game, all the while shooting a wild 68% from the field. Granted, the majority of his shots were either highlight dunks or within a few feet of the basket. His play style is not dissimilar from many dominant bigs, such as Karl Malone and Shaquille O’Neal, despite him only being 6’7. Regardless, he has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with and will likely go first in the draft.
New York fans have already embraced the idea of having Williamson on the squad next season. If the front office makes all the moves that it is rumored to, Williamson will likely be at the center of a Knicks rebuild. Of course, all of this is assuming that the Knicks get the first overall pick and choose Williamson. What would happen, though, if they didn’t?
Rejoice or Riot?
Riot, likely. The fans have spoken and they want Williamson. However, there are other top tier picks that the team
could try for. The Knicks have reportedly been interested in another Duke product, Cam Reddish. Slightly taller and far more slender than Williamson, Reddish averaged only 13.5 per game. He showed up in big games throughout the season and wasn’t afraid to embrace the moment. He is projected to have great potential and has shown enough heart to possibly be a star in this league.
Another notable name associated with the Knicks has been Ja Morant. The 6’3 guard out of Murray State averaged a double double this season, with 24.5 points and 10 assists. He did have a problem holding on to the ball, however, averaging 5.2 turnovers per game. The lack of ball control is something that the Knicks may want to steer clear of. Moreover, with the prospects of the Knicks chasing a top tier point guard like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, the team may not want to pursue another point guard in the draft. However, if New York does fail to get Williamson, fans may continue to lose faith in this franchise.
Let’s Talk about the Knicks’ last two Draft Picks
Some fans hold that in the last two seasons, the Knicks got it wrong in the draft. Frank Ntilikina has yet to transform into a consistent player who can take the reigns of the starting line up. Kevin Knox, while showing glimpses of promise, never really became the consistent scorer the team hoped for. Of course, the first few years in the league aren’t always spring boards for every players. Different guys take a different amount of time before they turn game changing talent (i.e. Kobe Bryant and Giannis Antetokounmpo). Even still, Knicks fans do not want a repeat of the last two years. They want someone that is going to win now. All of that is to say that if the team winds up with the number one over all pick and doesn’t squander it, fans may have renewed faith in this franchise.
Franchises around the league are waiting for the lottery to kick off. With any luck, they will land a transformational prospect who can improve their respective teams. For the Knicks, who just came off the worst season in years, this lottery night could prove to be a potential win.
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