Can Leon Rose turn New York Knicks pick to ‘Lucky 8’?

New York Knicks, Leon Rose

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.

New York Knicks & NBA Lottery Recap

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.

A Guide to the Biggest Day in New York Knicks History

After months of speculation, wild conspiracy theories, and above all else, losing basketball games, the day is upon the New York Knicks. Tomorrow, May 14th, 8:30 ET on ESPN, the ping pong balls will be randomly selected. The team that has the number one spot will be granted the right to choose whichever prospect they would like.  However, in this draft, it’s Duke’s Zion Williamson.

This particular lottery, though, has special significance for our beloved Knicks. Not only is it the culmination of a 17-65 record, but it is also the lottery in which the New York Knicks will send former star center Patrick Ewing to the sit at the podium?  Or is it an awkwardly small classroom desk?  The table with the Knicks logo?

Ewing was the first overall pick in the 1985 draft, the year in which the lottery system was first implemented. The year when the Knicks had a 14.29% chance to win. This year New York has a 14.0% chance at number one, tied for the best odds in the league. However, because the lottery rules are utterly farcical, the team also has a roughly 47.9% chance to pick fifth overall.

Now that the math tutorial is over, I want to offer a guide for how to spend the biggest day in franchise history. Keep in mind karma. The basketball gods played a big role in this article. Anything I suggest either abides by the laws of both, or is an attempt to sway either entity in our favor. Have a day, Knicks fans. After 36 years, you have earned it.

Endlessly Run “Tankathon” Simulations

Before I explain more, a disclaimer: this activity may give you false hope, and it may bring you immense pain. However, it is so darn addicting.

The chances you have not heard of “Tankathon” are likely slim to none as a Knicks fan. It is the ex-girlfriend that you keep going back to, even though you know you shouldn’t. Over at Tankathon, they allow you to simulate the 2019 NBA draft lottery to your heart’s content, among other things. It’s an awesome idea, and it helps give tanking teams some hope that maybe all these losses will be beneficial in the long run.

If you have been following along this season, you have likely spent quite a bit of time on Tankathon. Even still, I felt obliged to include it as an activity to do when you are at work and on a computer or a phone. Our minds are racing with thoughts about tonight’s lottery.

As I mentioned before, this can cause immense stress, particularly every time you hit that orange button, and the L.A. Lakers or Dallas Mavericks logo pops into the number one slot. But this exercise can prepare you for the worst, as the Knicks don’t get the first pick often. Preparing for the worst is a GOOD thing, not bad. I was prepared for the worst just two weeks ago on NFL draft night.  My team, Giants, selected Daniel Jones at six overall, it helped ease the pain.

Watch Zion Williamson Highlights

I would highly recommend this option, even if it is likely to inspire false hope. Williamson averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds while tearing up the college basketball nation. He is one of the biggest reasons this day is so important for the Knicks franchise. He’s a generational prospect, and likely the best since Anthony Davis came out of Kentucky.

I have taken the liberty of creating a playlist for anyone interested in the jaw-dropping dunks and blocks. It’s ten videos, not too long, but not too short, and it is a mix of Williamson dominating Class AA basketball in South Carolina.  Also have some college highlights from his career sprinkled in. Enjoy.


Listen to (New) Music

Folks, this one is only, and I mean ONLY for karma purposes. Because when I say music, I don’t just mean any music. I mean everyone’s favorite blues/alternative/rock band. That’s right, I’m talking about JD & The Straight Shot. The band responsible for perhaps the most repetitive songs of all time.

I’d know because in preparation for this article, I listened to about ten of their songs. They’re not just not good, they’re hilariously bad. But perhaps the collective fanbase listening to some Dolan jams will trigger some sort of seismic shift in the basketball universe, so that the Knicks logo is the one that is in the first slot come Tuesday night.

I should’ve known not to listen to these songs, but I’m a desperate Knicks fan, what can I say? If you are familiar with Dolan’s band, you would recognize my allusion to his song, “I Should’ve Known,” which goes a little something like this:

I should’ve known

I should’ve known

I should’ve known

I should’ve thrown

Myself across his tracks

Stopped him from these vile attacks

I should’ve known

Yes, those are actual lyrics, and yes, every single song is just like that.

This particular song is Dolan’s apology for his relationship with Harvey Weinstein, and it could not possibly be any more disrespectful and inconsiderate. However, if you need some musical options for the biggest day in Knicks history, why not throw on JD and the Straight Shot? What’s the worst that could happen?

Go Play Some Basketball

I would strongly recommend this option, especially in between getting off work and the start of the lottery. Go outside, go to the YMCA, heck, even turn on NBA 2K if you have to. Pretend you’re Zion Williamson, or Ja Morant, or any of one of the premier prospects in this year’s draft (a short list, unfortunately).

I don’t care what age you are, we all love basketball, and we all want to be like Zion at some level. Whether you’re a teenager, like me, or an old man or woman, you can ball one last time before the future of the Knicks changes drastically.

Perhaps you can take inspiration from the guy below, who impersonated Williamson himself. Or, if you prefer, you can pretend Zion is in the Garden, throwing down earth-shattering dunks and sending opposing shot attempts into the fifth row. A kid can dream.


Attend the New York Knicks Fan Lottery Party 

After this day, your eyes will be hurting from seeing other teams in the number one slot on Tankathon. Your legs will be sore from trying to jump like Zion, and trust me, your ears will undoubtedly be bleeding from listening to JD and the Straight Shot.

So what better way to relax while watching one of the biggest moments in franchise history than by hanging out with fellow Knicks lifers? J.B. and Jon from Knicks Film School, along with the guys from Poasting and Toasting, Gotham Sports Knicks, and Knicks Fan TV are hosting a lottery party at 7:30 P.M. ET.

10% of drink sales go to charity, and they are raffling off Knicks merchandise. If you know those guys, you know it’s going to be a great time. And while I can’t make it (I’m five years away from drinking and I live fifteen hours away), I definitely want as many Knicks fans to be in one place as possible, if only for karma’s sake.

Here’s the information for the lottery party…

While this was made (mostly) in jest, May 14th is truly the biggest day for our beloved Knicks. We must do whatever we can to make sure the ping pong ball with the NYK logo comes out in the first spot on Tuesday night. Even if that means enduring James Dolan’s god-awful band, then so be it.

To Knicks fans everywhere, I leave you with this:


Good luck to everyone, and may the odds be ever in our favor.