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Missing on Karl-Anthony Towns hurts, but the possibilities are exciting

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I feel a bit like we got dumped. This morning-after reckoning between "hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea" and "guuughhh but that was my fish" is a familiar whiff of real-life distress. I lost control of my love for Karl-Anthony Towns over the last few months. Between the versatile offensive skillset, the undeniable defensive gifts, the energy, the enthusiasm, the local upbringing, the totally workable flaws, and the combination of a Dominican mom and a Knicks fan dad, he just felt so perfect for New York. So he is very much my "one that got away," and based on what we've heard about the Knicks, I suspect they're feeling some pangs of that, too.

Of course, it's just luck. It's not anything the Knicks did. Well, winning those last few games didn't help, making it a 1-in-5 chance instead of a 1-in-4 chance for the first pick; you'd rather pick a leg off a mule than a leg off a starfish, as the saying I just made up goes. Still, just basic unlikeliness working as expected.

[deep breath]

There really are other fish in the sea, though. First of all, one of the guys we assume will disappear might drop. Almost certainly not Towns, but maybe Jahlil Okafor and very maybe D'Angelo Russell. I don't feel like I've seen enough to feel great about Emmanuel Mudiay, but a lot of people feel really great about him as a lead guard, a defender, and just a composed dude on the floor. I spent a lot of the NCAA tournament watching Justise Winslow defend and pounding my fist on the coffee table. He's awesome. Willie Cauley-Stein's another dude who might dominate defensively in the NBA, and he'll be there. There's a lot of defense to be had. Have you watched Mario Hezonja? Watch Mario Hezonja.

New York has a tough, contingent choice instead of an easy, unobstructed one. That was most likely. It hurts! It could be worse! It's ultimately way less important than free agency! It matters, though. The Knicks weren't among the luckiest, but if they can place themselves among the smartest, they could take a major step for the franchise in June. We've got a fun, distracting month ahead.