The streak continues as the Knicks not only failed to move up but they dropped from No. 6 to 8 in Thursday’s lottery.
The Knicks haven’t moved up since 1985 when they won the first Patrick Ewing lottery. It means the chances of drafting LaMelo Ball will be extremely tough unless he falls and the Knicks trade up. They are more likely to trade down in an equitable draft. The Timberwolves won the lottery, earning the No. 1 pick.
The Knicks picked eighth in 2017 and selected Frank Ntilikina. They had a 20 percent chance of landing the eighth pick after being seeded sixth.
Without a Draft Combine, the NCAA or conference tournaments, scouts admit the task is harder and some feel the draft could be more of a crapshoot than ever before.
It’s considered a weak draft with no consensus top 3, though it’s heavy in point guards beyond Ball.
The Knicks top priority has been drafting a scoring point guard but there’s been no recent mandate.
Cole Anthony, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes, Tyrese Maxey and Kira Lewis are among the top lead guards who could be available at 8.
There was not as much lottery transparency as prior years because of COVID-19. The room usually contains reps from all 14 teams. None were on hand this year to limit travel and social-distancing issues.
In addition, the normal amount of select journalists inside was much lower. This year the total was just one — from ESPN, which has a huge contract to broadcast the games.
James Dolan’s Rangers got lucky last week, winning the NHL lottery with a 12.5-percent chance of winning, but the Knicks couldn’t follow suit.
Ball still is regarded as a polarizing talent after playing just 12 games in the Australian League after being in Lithuania briefly as a 16-year-old. He probably hasn’t had the proper high-end coaching – unless you count former Jets tight end, Lavar Ball, his controversial father.
The 6-foot-7 playmaker can thread the needle with great vision but he’s been a poor 3-point shooter — not unlike his brother Lonzo — and his defensive intensity was suspect in Australia.
The draft is Oct. 16 but reportedly free agency may be pushed back a couple of weeks after that. In fact, Adam Silver said on the lottery telecast the Dec. 1 tentative season opener is “feeling a little bit early to me.” Silver said he’d look for a push back to ensure fans in the arenas.