So… RJ Barrett anyone? Getting the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft is certainly not what us Knicks fans wanted, and to see the Pelicans end up with Duke’s Zion Williamson is incredibly irritating. However, all is not lost, and here are some takeaways from Tuesday’s drama-filled night.
It’s Okay to be Upset
First and foremost, it is completely okay to be upset. The Knicks were the worst team in the league and are now picking third. Logically, that does not add up. I have said it before, and I will say it again: the one year the Knicks tanked properly, the NBA screwed the lottery odds. Tuesday night proved that statement to be true. As Stephen A. Smith said last night, “TYPICAL KNICKS!”
But it’s Not the End of the World
All that said, it is going to be okay. Keep in mind, the Knicks beat the odds tonight. They had a 49% chance at the fifth pick, and ended up picking third. That, by definition, is a win. Duke’s RJ Barrett, who is the presumptive third best player in the draft, is still a good prospect. There is still at least a greater-than-fifty percent chance that Kevin Durant is wearing the orange and blue next season. The Knicks are simply adding a highly-talented player, and that is something to be happy about.
It’s also important to keep things in perspective. While these odds seem unfair now, in last year’s draft, we would have been ecstatic. It is not the league’s fault that this draft is weak. In this draft, the top three is where you want to be. Barrett, Murray State’s Ja Morant, and Williamson are all a tier above everyone else in most people’s minds, and to be able to get one of those first two is a good thing.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The first thing I think Scott Perry should do is to get on the phone with David Griffin, general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans. While they seem confident that they can keep star Anthony Davis, he may want out no matter what, and a package centered around RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox may still be enticing. Would the ‘Pels be interested in a reunion of the two former Dukies?
If New York is unable to swing a deal for Davis, and it seems unlikely that Griffin would want to part ways with AD, then they should turn to the second-tier star market. Players such as Jrue Holiday or Bradley Beal may be available for the right price. And Barrett, who was considered to be the top prospect before this season, may rank higher on some teams’ boards than all of us realize. Could a team like Washington, that wants to shake things up, bite? It’s worth a shot.
If all else fails, the Knicks would just make the pick at number three. Barrett and Morant, to me, or both solid prospects that very clearly are benefitting from being in a weak draft. That doesn’t make them bad, and it should not preclude the Knicks from taking one of them at three. It doesn’t seem like many fans would be excited with Barrett, but given the chance to develop without shouldering a heavy load, he can be a really solid player.
This wasn’t the outcome most of us hoped for, but it is, in a word, fine. Let’s move on to bigger and better things (Hello, KD). Keep your heads up, Knicks fans, and please, no more tattoos.