CHICAGO — From Scott Perry’s seat on the stage, he caught a glimpse of the Knicks’ emblem as it was being pulled from the envelope. So he knew right away that good luck wasn’t in the cards for the Knicks again.
The NBA Draft Lottery played out exactly as expected for them Tuesday night. The Knicks finished with the ninth-worst record in the league and own the No. 9 pick in the June 21 NBA Draft
“I’m just happy we didn’t move back,” Perry, the Knicks general manager, said.
The Knicks haven’t moved up in the lottery since 1985 when they won the whole thing, and drafted Patrick Ewing.
The Phoenix Suns, who had the NBA’s worst record, won this lottery. The Kings will pick second and the Hawks will third.
The Knicks came into this with a 1.7 percent chance of winning and 6.1 percent odds of jumping into the top three. The Knicks had an 81.34 percent chance of picking ninth, and now will begin the process of interviewing players.
“Obviously, the odds were going to be against us moving up,” Perry said. “We were hopeful that would happen. Like I said going into this thing, wherever we ended up I’m confident we’re going to find a good player. We just hired a new coach as well. I’m still very excited with the direction we’re headed.
“It’s important whoever we get becomes at least a contributing player to our cause of getting better.’’
Now begins the process the finding the player the Knicks hope can be a difference maker and who fits in with what new coach David Fizdale wants. The NBA Draft Combine is here this week, and the Knicks will begin interviewing players.
They have a lot of holes with wing player being their most glaring need. At nine, they could be in position to take Villanova’s Mikal Bridges, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Kentucky’s Kevin Knox. But after a 29-53 finish, Perry said the Knicks won’t necessarily go after need.
“There’s no secret that we can use help on the wing,” he said. “But at the end of the day I think we’re still in that talent-acquisition mode. If that happens to be at No. 9, a wing player, great. If we feel the most talented guy clearly is at another position then we got to look at that direction as well.”
But when he was asked specifically about the two Bridges, Perry said he looks forward to meeting with them.
“We’re going to dive into both of those guys as we move forward,” he said. “Both are very good basketball players who put themselves in position to be in consideration by a number of teams in the Lottery. I can’t wait to meet both of those young guys to really get a feel for who they are and how they may and may not fit.”
Alabama point guard Collin Sexton has been linked to the Knicks in some mock drafts. Perry didn’t rule out taking a guard, but stipulated, “It would only make sense if you feel that guard is far and away better than what you have on the roster. And we haven’t been able to make that determination yet.”
1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
10. Philadelphia 76ers
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. L.A. Clippers
13. L.A. Clippers
14. Denver Nuggets