The Knicks continue to be a loser in the Lottery.
With Clyde Frazier sitting on stage in his “NBA Royalty” suit and team president Phil Jackson in the audience, the Knicks fell again in the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night. They were seeded seventh, but they dropped to eighth in the June 22 NBA Draft.
“Our opportunity was seven, could have been 10, so eight we’ll live with,” Jackson said. “I think that we’re good at what we do. We look forward to a young player that we’ll be able to draft next month.”
The Ping-Pong balls don’t like the Knicks.
Since winning the right to draft Patrick Ewing in 1985, the Knicks have never moved up in the lottery. They have been in 14 Lotteries, including picks they’ve traded away. This was the fifth time in that span that they dropped. They also fell from two to four in 2015 when they picked Kristaps Porzingis.
The Celtics, thanks to a trade with the Nets, won the lottery. The Lakers will pick second and the 76ers third. The projected top three picks are Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball and Kansas forward Josh Jackson.
The Knicks had a 57.24 percent chance of picking seventh, and 22.65 percent odds of selecting eighth. The Knicks’ chances of jumping into the top three were 18.3 percent.
“I brought my best suit, my [championship] rings, my jive chain, prayers,” Frazier said. “It just didn’t work.”
The Knicks finished the season with a win over Philadelphia, tying them with the Minnesota Timberwolves at 31-51 for the sixth-worst record in the league. Minnesota won a tiebreaker drawing — more Ping-Pong balls — and was seeded sixth. The T-Wolves will pick seventh.
For the Knicks, that one spot could mean the difference between taking versatile Kentucky guard Malik Monk and a relatively unknown French point guard Frank Ntilikina.
“We’ll get a talented young player,” Jackson said, “hopefully someone that can contribute this next year.”
Jackson made it clear the Knicks will look at guards and wing players, and wouldn’t rule out trading back if there’s a player he likes.
The Knicks reportedly have an interest in North Carolina forward Justin Jackson, who isn’t projected to be a Lottery pick.
“We’ll go through the strategy of what we have to do as we go along here,” Jackson said.
“We have a guard need, we have a wing need. So we know what we need.”
If the Knicks hold on to their pick, Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox and Duke small forward Jayson Tatum likely will be gone. Monk would be a good choice if he’s still on the board.
Monk is more of a shooting guard, but he can play some point guard and considers himself an “amazing” pick-and-roll player. Kentucky coach John Calipari called Monk “special.”
Ntilikina is someone the Knicks already have scouted. He’s only 18 and he came off the bench for his French team so he may not be able to help immediately.
Other options include North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith and Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, who plays both forward spots. But Frazier thinks the Knicks should take a point guard with the eighth pick.
“I think a point guard is obviously a first priority,” Frazier said. “And luckily in this draft there are a lot of point guards. They should get a good one.”