There was no beginner’s luck for New York Knicks team president Leon Rose.
Not even a lucky bracelet with the inscription “We Are One” from their cancer-stricken super fan Antonio Sellers could help Rose break the team’s Draft Lottery curse Thursday night.
Armed with the sixth-best chance to win the Lottery, the Knicks struck out anew and even fell two spots down. They settled with the eight pick, extending their long streak of not moving up in the NBA Draft to 17.
Minnesota grabbed the chance to select at No. 1 with Golden State, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Detroit to pick ahead of New York.
With a Draft Class relatively weaker than the previous years and with the absence of personal workouts due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it’s going to be a tricky selection process.
This early, the Timberwolves and the Warriors are hinting that they are not closing their doors on trading their picks.
“We have an open mind as we go through all of this,” Minnesota team president Gersson Rosas per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “We want to do what’s best for this organization. And it means being thorough, being diligent and looking at every option. Draft, trade, free agency, whatever the case may be.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, don’t have any idea yet what to do or what can they get in return for their second pick.
“We don’t really know anything at this point…I have no idea what the value is for that pick… We don’t entirely control the draft but all we have to like is two guys to be happy,” Warriors GM Bob Myers per 97.5 The Game.
This gives the Knicks a chance to move up for LaMelo Ball, the top point guard in their Draft Board. But everything will still depend if they can come up with the package that these teams in win-now mode would be looking for.
There’s also a scenario where they can attach the eight pick in a package for larger trade to get a disgruntled star or a solid veteran that can move the needle.
Rose has been prudent and calculating with his recent front office moves and coaching hires. It is expected that he will do the same with his first Draft.
Even if they stand pat, they still can get a point guard at eight pick. With Ball and top international prospect Killian Hayes likely to be picked early, the Knicks can settle with the likes of Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, Duke standout, and ex-Knick Greg Anthony’s son Cole Anthony or Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey.
They can also opt for the next best available talent regardless of position.
Rose will have multiple options, and this is where his assistant GM and lead college scout Walter Perrin’s intel becomes valuable. Perhaps Perrin can find another hidden gem in the mold of a Gordon Hayward (2010 9th pick) or a Donovan Mitchell (2017 13th pick) from the Draft.
Rose may have run out of luck in the Lottery, but the lawyer-agent turned basketball executive knows how to grind and hustle to get what he wants.