So it looks like the basketball gods crushed our hopes and dreams because the Knicks re-hired Isiah Thomas or Phil Jackson didn't show up to the lottery or something like that. There is essentially zero chance that either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor will be left on the board when the Knicks pick at No. 4. The best we can hope for now is that Minnesota drafts Towns so that he will grow unhappy -- as all Timberwolves players eventually do -- and become a free agent as soon as possible.
But that is years down the road, my friends. Let us now focus on those players fate has deemed lowly enough to maybe fall to New York. The P&T team has you covered!
Remember: The Sixers pick third, so there's a good chance your favorite player from this group will be snatched out of the Knicks' hands. Life is cruel.
Best of the Rest, 1st place
Matt RW: D'Angelo Russell.
EXCELLENT shooter. Some people don't love the fit with Melo, but I think he'd be perfect.
He's the only one of these guys I feel something close to sure about, which certainly means he won't be available. I love his handle, I love his vision, I love the shooting, and I love that he's big enough to guard up a position. I don't worry about soft competition because the team around him suuuuucked. He never had space.
Christian: Emmanuel Mudiay.
Big, physically and mentally mature guard with a power game. I think he'll be a better shooter than expected.
Joe Flynn: Russell.
His 3-point shooting and smooth offensive game is a perfect fit for the 76ers. There's a 99.9% chance he won't drop to the Knicks.
Matt Miranda: Willie Cauley-Stein
Willie Trill! A seven-foot elite rim protector and pick-and-roll eraser? Give. He could be the most impactful player in this year's draft.
Jonathan Schulman: Mudiay
He will be physically overwhelming on both ends of the floor. No way he falls to fourth.
Best of the Rest, 2nd place
Matt RW: Justise Winslow.
Great length, can defend multiple positions well. He'd allow Melo to play the 4, where I think most of us agree he's best.
This is tough and I will flip-flop on this, but the kid's defense is fantastic, and I don't understand why people assume his shooting numbers are a total fluke. Once he got healthy, he looked pretty sharp on offense, even creating sometimes instead of just serving as a catch-and-shooter.
Feels like he's being overrated; OSU played a very soft non-conference schedule and Russell struggled against good teams. Still, hard to deny his length and skill at PG.
Joe Flynn: Mudiay
WILD CARD, BITCHES! At first blush his poor outside shooting and drive-and-kick game appear to be an awkward fit for the Triangle, but a he's supreme athlete with a great feel for the point guard position, particularly the pick-and-roll. Probably the second-highest ceiling, after Towns. And remember: his terrible free-throw percentage (58%) wasn't that far off from Winslow's (63%). I'd be fascinated (and impressed) if the Knicks picked him.
Matt Miranda: Mudiay
It's a guard's league and the Knicks need one. Badly. Mudiay would be the team's most athletic and gifted backcourt talent since the Reagan years.
Jonathan Schulman: Russell
His old man game has all the tweedy impertinence you'll ever need. Highly unlikely he falls to fourth.
Best of the Rest, 3rd place
Matt RW: Willie Cauley-Stein.
I go back and forth between him and Mudiay, but since Trill is more of a known quantity, I'm leaning his way. It's hard to pass up guys who could defend all 5 positions in college, even if they're limited offensively like WCS is.
Seth: Emmanuel Mudiay.
I really like Mario Hezonja, but I've been watching Mudiay and I'm starting to see what the deal is. The lack of a shot (like he hasn't even hit free throws) right now makes me nervous because his form doesn't look great, and the experience/competition disparity is hard for me to evaluate. If scouts come out of workouts saying he looked just as strong and just as quick scrimmaging against other prospects as he did in the CBA, I might feel better about him.
Christian: Stanley Johnson
I've been Team Stanley for over a year. Loved him on Team USA, love his attitude, and I think his poor finishing stats are an outlier.
Joe Flynn: Cauley-Stein
The wings are nice and all, but those can be found in free agency. Centers of Cauley-Stein's defensive potential are few and far between.
Matt Miranda: Winslow
Best-case scenario: Winslow adds a jumper and some handle and he's a two-way star. Worst-case scenario: the rich man's Iman Shumpert.
Jonathan Schulman: Johnson
I like his mom. He won't be there at fourth.