Last season the New York Knicks fell short of landing the first overall pick to draft Zion Williamson. But would winning the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft make up for last year’s loss?
The New York Knicks finally threw in the towel and tanked last season, which fans have been begging the team to do since the 2014-15 season when they finished 17-65. But as fate would have it, as it usually does, the Knicks didn’t end up with the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Instead, they ended up with the third pick and selected RJ Barrett, who is turning out to be a great choice.
But even though they did not end up with Zion last year, would winning this year’s lottery be as impactful? Absolutely.
Last year was their shot, and the odds were not in the New York Knicks favor. However, even though this year’s draft does not have a Zion or even a Ja Morant, if they are able to get a top pick, there are still top players that the Knicks would want.
This year’s top three prospects are LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, and Anthony Edwards. There are certainly other top candidates in this year’s draft as listed by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, but the aforementioned players are at the top of the list.
Of all the draft prospects the Knicks could select, Ball and Hayes (both point guards) have to be the top two choices. Edwards is very intriguing, but the Knicks desperately need a starting point guard. Also, Edwards would be a bit redundant with Barrett.
If the Knicks were to draft Ball or Hayes, that would relieve a lot of grief for missing out on Zion and Morant.
Like Zion, these two prospects seem to have the ability to be top-tiered point guards in the NBA. Plus, the Knicks haven’t drafted a true starting point guard since Charlie Ward. This is no slight to Frank Ntilikina, but he has only proven he can be a solid backup point guard so far.
If the Knicks take LaMelo, it would solve the problem of having a starting-caliber ball-handler who is a playmaker.
If the Knicks drafted Hayes, he would not only offer playmaking, but he is a shooter who can create his own shot.
Overall, the Knicks winning the lottery this year (which they have not won since 1985) and drafting either Ball or Hayes, would definitely make up for not winning the lottery last year. That being said, judging by Barrett’s solid performance, we could work with and continue to develop the team with options beyond the top three picks.