Knicks hope for World Wide Wes luck in NBA Draft Lottery

May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; The podium with logos is seen prior to the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks vice president and senior advisor William Wesley burst onto the basketball scene more than three decades ago when his best friend, Milt Wagner, introduced him to Michael Jordan in Chicago.

Wesley eventually landed his biggest break — a job at Jordan’s basketball camp and thus began his enduring clout in the basketball circles.

On Tuesday, Wesley returns to Chicago hoping to recapture that luck for the Knicks when he sits on the dais for the NBA Draft Lottery.

The Knicks have not moved up since winning the Patrick Ewing lottery in controversial fashion in 1985. But they are banking on the man known as ‘World Wide Wes’ in the inner basketball circles and ‘Uncle Wes’ to basketball players to break that streak.

The 37-45 Knicks face tall odds to jump from no. 11 after their strong finish diminished their chances. They only have a two percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick and a 9.4 percent chance of moving to the top four.

There’s no consensus No. 1 pick this year, but the top-heavy draft offers four projected franchise cornerstones in Jabari Smith (Auburn), Paolo Banchero (Duke), Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) and Jaden Ivey (Purdue).

Wesley succeeds his close associate and Knicks team president Leon Rose as the team’s representative in the draft lottery. Rose had no luck as the Knicks fell to No. 8 after entering the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery sitting at seventh.

Wesley hopes to do better and keep the Knicks from sticking to 11th (77.6% chance) or worst, falling to 12th (12.6% chance).

The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery, Presented by State Farm, starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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