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Hit or miss: Knicks draft picks since 1985

A look back at the Knicks draft history since they won the 1985 lottery and selected Patrick Ewing first overall.

(First round picks are evaluated, with the exception of years that the Knicks had no first round pick. Ratings based only on direct value to Knicks.)

Compiled by Bobby Bonett

1985: PATRICK EWING, Center, Georgetown

Drafted: 1st round, No. 1 overall The prize
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 1 overall
The prize of the NBA's first lottery, Ewing lived up to the hype, becoming the centerpiece of a Knicks team that became an Eastern Conference power. While he never won a ring, he is undoubtedly one of the great centers of all-time, finishing with 24,815 career points and 11,607 career rebounds.
Impact: Hit

1986: KENNY WALKER, Small forward, Kentucky

Drafted: 1st round, No. 5 overall
Photo Credit: Newsday/Ken Sawchuk

Drafted: 1st round, No. 5 overall
"Sky" could fly, as evidenced by his win in the 1989 Slam Dunk Contest, and he had a legendary flat top. Bad knees cut his career short, but he was one of the better players taken in a very weak draft that saw more star power in the second round than the first.
Impact: Hit

1987: MARK JACKSON, Point guard, St. John's

Drafted: 1st round, No. 18 overall Brooklyn born
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Drafted: 1st round, No. 18 overall
Brooklyn born and Queens raised, Jackson immediately inherited the point after getting drafted by the Knicks. He won Rookie of the Year , but lasted just five seasons in his first tour with New York, even losing his starting role temporarily in 1990-91. Still, he provided good value considering where he was taken. Eventually, Jackson returned to the Knicks via a trade from Toronto during the 2000-01 season. He'd serve as the team's starting point guard for two more season, averaging just under seven assists per game, before getting dealt to the Nuggets in the trade that landed the Knicks Antonio McDyess.
Impact: Hit

1988: ROD STRICKLAND, Point guard, DePaul

Drafted: 1st round, No. 19 overall
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 19 overall
"Hot Rod" may have had one of the great nicknames in NBA history, but his on-court impact happened after he was jettisoned from the Knicks during the 1989-90 season.
Impact: Miss

1989: BRIAN QUINNETT, Small forward, Washington State

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 50 overall Quinnett lasted

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 50 overall Quinnett lasted less than three seasons in New York, where he never averaged more than five points per game. He is, however, one of just three players in league history whose last name started with a Q.
Impact: Miss

1990: JERROD MUSTAF, Power forward, Maryland

Drafted: 1st round, No. 17 overall Out of
Photo Credit: Newsday/Mark Hinojosa

Drafted: 1st round, No. 17 overall
Out of high school, Mustaf was highly recruited, landing at Maryland. After that, his basketball career went downhill. The Knicks took him late in the first round, and he played sparingly in New York for one season before getting traded to the Suns in a package for Xavier McDaniel. He'd be out of the NBA and playing in Europe by 1994.
Impact: Miss

1991: GREG ANTHONY, Point guard, UNLV

Drafted: 1st round, No. 12 overall Another year,
Photo Credit: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill

Drafted: 1st round, No. 12 overall
Another year, another first-round pick spent on a point guard by the Knicks. Selected to back up Mark Jackson, Anthony came in as a defensive specialist. After four fairly productive years in New York that included four playoff appearances and one NBA Finals appearance - the Knicks loss to the Rockets in the 1994 finals - he was taken by the Grizzlies in the 1995-96 expansion draft.
Impact: Hit

1992: HUBERT DAVIS, Shooting guard, North Carolina

Drafted: 1st round, No. 20 overall Davis was
Photo Credit: Newsday/Viorel Florescu

Drafted: 1st round, No. 20 overall
Davis was brought on as a three-point specialist, and lived up to the billing, shooting 45 percent from downtown in 1994-95, and 48 percent the following year. He also hit the game-winning free throws against the Bulls in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semis. His Knicks career lasted four seasons before he was traded to the Toronto Raptors for a 1997 first round pick, who ended up being John Thomas.
Impact: Hit

1994: MONTY WILLIAMS, Small forward, Notre Dame

Drafted: 1st round, No. 24 overall Yes, he's
Photo Credit: George Kalinsky

Drafted: 1st round, No. 24 overall
Yes, he's orchestrated a turnaround as head coach of the Hornets, but his playing career - especially in just over a season with the Knicks - was nothing special.
Impact: Miss

1994: CHARLIE WARD, Point guard, Florida State

Drafted: 1st round, No. 26 overall His numbers
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 26 overall
His numbers weren't outstanding, but as a late first-rounder, Ward did more than was expected in New York. Heisman Trophy winner in college, Ward's initial role was as a back up for Derek Harper. He'd take over the starting job full time in the 1997-98 season, and remain the team's starter for three full seasons until the reacquisition of Mark Jackson in the middle of the 2000-01 season. His tenure as the team's starter included three playoff appearances, and one trip to the NBA Finals - a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Impact: Hit

1996: JOHN WALLACE, Small forward, Syracuse

Drafted: 1st round, No. 18 overall Wallace had
Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams

Drafted: 1st round, No. 18 overall
Wallace had two separate one-year stints with the Knicks, neither of them nearly as noteworthy as his college career at Syracuse.
Impact: Miss

1996: WALTER MCCARTY, Power forward, Kentucky

Drafted: 1st round, No. 19 overall After winning
Photo Credit: Newsday/Paul Bereswill

Drafted: 1st round, No. 19 overall
After winning a national title at Kentucky, the Knicks brought on McCarty with their second first-round selection of the draft. Unfortunately for New York, his best time in the league came during his second season, after he had been traded to the Celtics in a package deal for Chris Mills.
Impact: Miss

1996: DONTAE' JONES, Small forward, Mississippi State

Drafted: 1st round, No. 21 overall Like McCarty,
Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams

Drafted: 1st round, No. 21 overall
Like McCarty, Jones, the team's third first-round selection in the '96 Draft, was dealt to Boston in a package for Chris Mills. He never stepped on the court for the Knicks, and barely saw any action in one season with the Celtics.
Impact: Miss

1997: JOHN THOMAS, Power forward, Minnesota

Drafted: 1st round, No. 25 overall Thomas' biggest
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 25 overall
Thomas' biggest contribution to the Knicks? Being the final piece of the deal that brought Chris Mills to town. Thomas never played for New York.
Impact: Miss

1998: DEMARCO JOHNSON, Power forward, UNC-Charlotte

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 38 overall Johnson, like
Photo Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 38 overall
Johnson, like many second round picks, was essentially a tryout piece for the Knicks. He played just five games in New York, totaling six career points, before heading overseas.
Impact: Miss

1998: SEAN MARKS, Center, North Carolina

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 44 overall Who would
Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 44 overall
Who would have thought that Sean Marks would play until 2010-11? His last team, the Portland Trail Blazers, was the sixth he's stepped on the court for. None of those are the Knicks. He began as the Brooklyn Nets' GM in 2016.
Impact: Miss

1999: FREDERIC WEIS, Center, France

Drafted: 1st round, No. 15 overall At least
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 15 overall
At least the Knicks took Weis before "Le dunk de la mort." Of course, the Knicks also took Weis while St. John's star and Queensbridge native Ron Artest was still available. Oops.
Impact: Miss

2000: DONNELL HARVEY, Power forward, Florida

Drafted: 1st round, No. 22 overall After getting
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 22 overall
After getting drafted, Harvey was quickly turned around in a deal on draft night that brought Erick Strickland and Pete Mickeal to town. Those two combined to play 28 games for New York.
Impact: Miss.

2001: MICHAEL WRIGHT, Power forward, Arizona

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 38 overall Undersized for
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 38 overall
Undersized for a power forward, Wright never found his way on to the court in the NBA, instead bouncing around overseas during a long international career.
Impact: Miss

2001: ERIC CHENOWITH, Center, Kansas

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 42 overall The second
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 42 overall
The second half of the Knicks' 2001 second-round draft class, Chenowith never made it out of the NBA D-League.
Impact: Miss

2002: NENE HILARIO, Center, Brazil

Drafted: 1st round, No. 7 overall Hilario
Photo Credit: AP


Drafted: 1st round, No. 7 overall
Hilario emerged as one of the better big bodies in the league. In 17 career seasons -- none of which were spent with the Knicks -- Nene has career averages of 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and a .548 field goal percentage. He was traded to Denver in a draft-night deal that brought Antonio McDyess to the Garden.
Impact: Miss

2003: MIKE SWEETNEY, Power forward, Georgetown

Drafted: 1st round, No. 9 overall A big
Photo Credit: Newsday/Nelson Ching

Drafted: 1st round, No. 9 overall
A big body out of Georgetown? Heck, it worked last time. Unfortunately for Knicks management, Sweetney never emerged as an impact player for the franchise. He lasted just two years with the Knicks, averaging 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game his sophomore campaign, and was dealt to the Chicago Bulls prior to the 2005-06 season. The monster deal did bring in the draft pick that turned out to be Wilson Chandler. However, it also brought in Eddy Curry, and sent away draft picks that turned out to be Joakim Noah and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Impact: Miss

2004: TREVOR ARIZA, Small forward, UCLA

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 43 overall For a
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 43 overall
For a second-round pick, Ariza did a whole lot during his rookie season, appearing in 80 games and starting 12. He continued to look like a promising threat off the bench in his second season, but was instead sent to Orlando in the trade that brought Steve Francis to the Knicks. He has averaged 10.5 points in 14 NBA seasons.
Impact: Miss

2005: CHANNING FRYE, Power forward, Arizona

Drafted: 1st round, No. 8 overall Frye, taken
Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Drafted: 1st round, No. 8 overall
Frye, taken two slots before the Lakers' Andrew Bynum and nine before the Pacers' Danny Granger, had a decent two-year tenure with the Knicks, averaging over 10 points and just under six boards. Now more of a three-point shooter, Frye spent most of his time in the post with the Knicks and never evolved.
Impact: Miss

2005: NATE ROBINSON, Point guard, Washington

Drafted: 1st round, No. 21 overall Robinson wasn't
Photo Credit: Patrick McCarthy

Drafted: 1st round, No. 21 overall
Robinson wasn't exactly a draft pick of the Knicks, instead being acquired in a package with Quentin Richardson in a draft day trade from the Suns that sent Kurt Thomas to the Western Conference. He enjoyed a memorable time in New York, and often was concurrently a fan favorite and in the coach's doghouse. He had a penchant for big games, and was one of the few exciting players on the Knicks during his tenure.
Impact: Hit

2005: DAVID LEE, Power forward, Florida

Drafted: 1st round, No. 30 overall Mr. Double-Double,
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Drafted: 1st round, No. 30 overall
Mr. Double-Double, Lee emerged as the steal of the draft, sneaking into the first round as the last pick. He spent five very productive years in New York, which included one All-Star appearance, before heading to Golden State as part of a sign-and-trade.
Impact: Hit

2006: RENALDO BALKMAN, Power forward, South Carolina

Drafted: 1st round, No. 20 overall After a
Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Drafted: 1st round, No. 20 overall
After a relatively successful 2005 draft, the Knicks again flubbed, taking "Taz" 20th overall. The New York native disappointed during his first stint with the Knicks, especially considering the Knicks passed up on Rajon Rondo to select him.
Impact: Miss

2006: MARDY COLLINS, Shooting guard, Temple

Drafted: 1st round, No. 29 overall Collins played
Photo Credit: NBA

Drafted: 1st round, No. 29 overall
Collins played just over two years in New York, never averaging more than 15 minutes per game during his tenure. His most memorable moment as a Knick was his foul on J.R. Smith that sparked a brawl between the Knicks and Nuggets.
Impact: Miss.

2007: WILSON CHANDLER, Small forward, DePaul

Drafted: 1st round, No. 23 overall After two
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 23 overall
After two years at DePaul, Chandler opted to enter the NBA Draft. He wound up being one of the steals of the night, averaging over 14 points per game his sophomore season. He continued to develop and improve before being traded in the deal that brought Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.
Impact: Hit.

2008: DANILO GALLINARI, Small forward, Italy

Drafted: 1st round, No. 6 overall Initially, Gallinari
Photo Credit: Newsday / Viorel Florescu

Drafted: 1st round, No. 6 overall
Initially, Gallinari looked like a bust, missing most of his rookie season with a back injury. He'd come back and stay healthy in 2009-10, averaging 15 points per game and shooting 38 percent from the floor. His scoring improved the following season before he was traded to the Nuggets.
Impact: Miss

2009: JORDAN HILL, Power forward, Arizona

Drafted: 1st round, No. 8 overall Hill was
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 8 overall
Hill was the epitome of a consolation prize for the Knicks, with Stephen Curry being swiped from the board one selection earlier by the Warriors. He was traded midway through his rookie year in a cap-clearing move and played eight seasons with five different teams.
Impact: Miss.

2009: TONEY DOUGLAS, Point guard, Florida State

Drafted: 1st round, No. 29 overall Douglas was
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 29 overall
Douglas was sent to New York on draft night after the Lakers took him 29th. In three seasons with the Knicks -- his longest tenure with any of the seven NBA teams he played for -- Douglas averaged 9 points and 2.5 assists. He'll most be remembered by Knicks fans for tying the franchise record with nine three-pointers in a game on March 17, 2011.
Impact: Miss

2010: ANDY RAUTINS, Shooting guard, Syracuse

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 38 overall After an
Photo Credit: AP/Kathy Kmonicek

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 38 overall
After an impressive career at Syracuse, Rautins was taken by the Knicks as a three-point specialist. He didn't see much court time his rookie season with the Knicks, and was traded prior to the 2011-12 season.
Impact: Miss

2010: LANDRY FIELDS, Shooting guard, Stanford

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 39 overall In the
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 39 overall
In the modern draft, second-round players rarely make a huge impact in their career, let alone their rookie season. Fields did just that, showing an ability to score, rebound and log heavy minutes. He was named to the All-Rookie NBA team and remained the team's starting shooting guard for much of his second season. He played the final three seasons of his career with Toronto.
Impact: Miss

2011: IMAN SHUMPERT, Guard, Georgia Tech

Drafted: 1st round, No. 17 overall The Knicks
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Drafted: 1st round, No. 17 overall
The Knicks went defense in the first round of the 2011 draft taking Shumpert, an athletic combo guard. Shumpert lived up to the expectations, serving as a lockdown defender. He also flashed his athleticism, making an impact on the offensive end of the court. However, he struggled in his final two seasons with the Knicks and was traded to the Cavaliers midway through the 2014-15 season.
Impact: Miss

2012: KOSTAS PAPINIKOLOAU, forward, Greece

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 48 overall Papinikoloau's selection

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 48 overall
Papinikoloau's selection was met by boos from Knicks fans at the draft. The Knicks traded his rights to weeks later to the Portland Trail Blazers in a deal that sent Raymond Felton to the Knicks.
Impact: Miss

2013: TIM HARDAWAY JR., Guard, Michigan

Drafted: 1st round, No. 24 overall Hardaway Jr.,
Photo Credit: AP

Drafted: 1st round, No. 24 overall
Hardaway Jr., the son of NBA great Tim Hardaway, averaged 10.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.5 minutes per game during his first two seasons with the Knicks. He was traded on draft night in 2015 in a deal that brought Jerian Grant to New York. He returned to the Knicks as a free agent and averaged 17.5 points in 2017-18.
Impact: Hit

2014: CLEANTHONY EARLY, Forward, Wichita State

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 34 overall Early averaged
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Drafted: 2nd round, No. 34 overall
Early averaged 16.6 minutes in 39 games in 2014-15, putting up 5.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game. He bounced between the Knicks and their D-League affiliate in 2015-16, missing three months after being a victim in a robbery attempt. Early was traded to the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors on Dec. 21, 2016.
Impact: Miss

2015: KRISTAPS PORZINGIS, Forward, Latvia

Drafted: 1st round, No. 4 overall Draft experts
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Drafted: 1st round, No. 4 overall
Draft experts projected a big learning curve for the 19-year-old, but the 7-3 Porzingis burst onto the scene as a rookie, averaging 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 72 games en route to a second-place Rookie of the Year finish. He kept it up in 2016-17, averaging 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 68 games. He had the best 10-game start in team history in 2017-18, but tore his ACL in February after averaging 22.7 points per game. Still, he remains the Knicks' centerpiece to build for the future.
Impact: Hit

2015: JERIAN GRANT, Guard, Notre Dame

Drafted: 1st round, No. 19 overall As part
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Drafted: 1st round, No. 19 overall
As part of a three-team draft night deal, the Knicks sent Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Hawks and received the rights to the No. 19 pick, Grant. The former Notre Dame standout struggled finding his way playing in the triangle offense as a rookie and was often pulled from games quickly after mistakes. Grant averaged 5.6 points and 2.3 assists in 16.6 minutes in his first NBA season. He was traded that offseason to the Bulls in the Derrick Rose deal
Impact: Miss.

2017: FRANK NTILIKINA, Guard, France

Drafted: 1st round, No. 8 overall With their
Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Drafted: 1st round, No. 8 overall
With their first opening round pick since 2015, Knicks president Phil Jackson opted to grab French point guard Frank Ntilikina, passing on the likes of Dennis Smith Jr. and Donovan Mitchell. Jackson was fired by the Knicks days after the draft. Ntilikina struggled to take hold of the point guard role and memorably got into it with LeBron James. He finished the year averaging 5.9 points and 3.2 assists per game.
Impact: Too early to tell.

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