Scott Perry doesn’t plan to bring any lucky charms with him, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Knicks’ general manager wave a Terrible Towel if they win the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night.
Perry’s father played for and coached with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Scott remains a huge fan. He will represent the Knicks on stage during the draft lottery in Chicago, and his Q-rating with the Knicks’ fan base would soar if they won the lottery for the first time since 1985.
The Knicks went 29-53 and finished with the league’s ninth-worst record. They have a 1.7-percent chance of getting the first overall pick and a 6.1-percent odds of jumping into the top three.
The Knicks haven’t moved up in the lottery since winning the right to draft Patrick Ewing 33 years ago. They hope Perry can change their luck.
“I’m counting on him to do that,” Knicks president Steve Mills said on the MSG Network. “Then, depending on where we end up drafting, we need talent, we need athletic players. In an ideal world, we’d like to try to get a wing player.”
If the Knicks stay at No. 9 — and they have an 81.34-percent chance of that happening — they could be in line to take Villanova’s Mikal Bridges, a “3-and-D” small forward (someone focused on three-point shooting and defense) who would fill a void. Other options include Kentucky’s Kevin Knox and Michigan State’s Myles Bridges if they pick in the 9-12 range on June 21. (The Knicks have 12.56-percent odds of dropping back as many as three spots.)
There also could be talented point guards such as Oklahoma’s Trae Young or Alabama’s Collin Sexton available. But everything will change if the Knicks, who have missed the playoffs five straight years, finally win something.
Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton, Slovenian swingman Luka Doncic and Duke’s Marvin Bagley III are considered the top three picks in the draft at this point. The Suns (25.0 percent), Grizzlies (19.9 percent) and Mavericks (13.8) have the best odds of winning the lottery.
Perry believes that no matter where the Knicks pick, they will find someone who will help them and fit the type of player new coach David Fizdale wants on the team.
“I am confident we will be able to find a prospect who can help our team regardless of where we pick, as well as our scouting staff’s ability to maximize our draft position,” Perry said through a Q&A provided by the Knicks. “Our goal is to draft players who fit our plan and our culture, and develop them to the best of our ability as we become a sustainable, winning franchise.”
After the lottery, the Knicks’ brain trust will start interviewing players in Chicago at this week’s draft combine. They then will schedule workouts with the draft prospects.
Since the NBA went to this current weighted system in 1994, the team with the ninth-worst record has won the lottery twice. The Bulls did it in 2008 and took Derrick Rose. The Cavaliers did it in 2014, selected Andrew Wiggins and ultimately traded him to Minnesota for Kevin Love.
Three years ago, the Knicks won two of their last three games and finished tied with the Timberwolves for the worst record in the league. Minnesota won the tiebreaking coin flip, won the lottery and selected Karl-Anthony Towns. The Knicks dropped to fourth — and drafted Kristaps Porzingis.
Last year, the Knicks finished tied with Minnesota for the seventh-worst record. The Timberwolves won the coin flip and the Knicks ended up eighth in the draft. They took Frank Ntilikina.
The last time Perry sat on the dais was 2010 with the Pistons. They didn’t move up.
When he was a Magic executive, Orlando stood pat twice and moved back one spot twice in his four lotteries with the team.
Last year, he was with the Kings. They moved up from eighth to third, but Sacramento drafted fifth because of a previous trade with Philadelphia.
“Hopefully that luck continues,” Perry said.
“I’m a little more superstitious about my daily routine leading up to a big event like the lottery. I’ll make sure to get a good morning workout in, followed by a few quiet moments of visualization in my room, which will help with any nervous energy. I don’t have any lucky charms, but I’m considering wearing a tie being sent to me by a friend.”
Knicks Draft Lottery Odds
No. 1 pick: 1.7 percent
No. 2 pick: 2.0 percent
No. 3 pick: 2.4 percent
No. 9 pick: 81.34 percent
No. 10 pick: 12.18 percent
No. 11 pick: 0.38 percent
No. 12 pick: 0.02 percent
NBA Draft Lottery Odds for all teams
1. Phoenix Suns (21-61)
No. 1 pick: 25 percent | Top-3 pick:64.2 percent
2. Memphis Grizzlies (22-60)
No. 1 pick: 19.9 percent | Top-3 pick:55.8 percent
3. Dallas Mavericks (24-58)
No. 1 pick: 13.8 percent | Top-3 pick: 42.6 percent
4. Atlanta Hawks (24-58)
No. 1 pick: 13.7 percent | Top-3 pick: 42.6 percent
5. Orlando Magic (25-57)
No. 1 pick: 8.8 percent | Top-3 pick: 29.1 percent
6. Chicago Bulls (27-55)
No. 1 pick: 5.3 percent | Top-3 pick:18.3 percent
7. Sacramento Kings (27-55)
No. 1 pick: 5.3 percent | Top-3 pick: 18.3 percent
8. Cleveland Cavaliers via Brooklyn Nets (28-54)
No. 1 pick: 2.8 percent | Top-3 pick:9.9 percent
9. New York Knicks (29-53)
No. 1 pick: 1.7 percent | Top-3 pick: 6.1 percent
10. Philadelphia 76ers or Boston Celtics via L.A. Lakers (35-47)*
No. 1 pick: 1.1 percent | Top-3 pick: 4.0 percent
11. Charlotte Hornets (36-46)
No. 1 pick: 0.8 percent | Top-3 pick: 2.9 percent
12. L.A. Clippers via Detroit Pistons (39-43)**
No. 1 pick: 0.7 percent | Top-3 pick:2.5 percent
13. L.A. Clippers (42-40)
No. 1 pick: 0.6 percent | Top-3 pick: 2.2 percent
14. Denver Nuggets (46-36)
No. 1 pick: 0.5 percent | Top-3 pick: 1.8 percent
*The Celtics will receive the selection if it falls between picks No. 2 and No. 5, otherwise the 76ers will receive the pick.
**The Pistons will retain the selection if it falls between picks No. 1 and No. 4.