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My 2017 Draft big board vs. Phil Jackson’s (imaginary) big board

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An incomplete mockery.

Hey P&T, I’m here to give you the most overwhelmingly in depth draft coverage you’ve ever witnessed. So grab a box of tissues, you might need to strum your piccolos and sneeze out some thick atonal teardrops. It’s been vetted, sourced, breaded and torched. Even though you’ve seen it all and developed a bullet-proof, A-grade, top of the line, true blue, bonafide, ego-less opinion and you can’t possibly be swayed. I know you refuse to settle for less, so I’ve done better than my best (intentionally worse) to give you a soft landing spot for all those L’s the Knicks are so accustomed to taking.

The Knicks are a (Nene) hilarious franchise (Scott) laden with big, hulking mistakes both on and off the draft board. They always seem to be one spot away from the guy (Ron Artest, Steph Curry). Or maybe the first rounder is just flat out missing (2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, Mardy Collins). A few times they have absolutely nailed a pick (Trevor Ariza, 43rd pick) only to trade him away and watch them flourish into championship-caliber rotation players. These once-upon-a-Knicks sprout up all over the league. In this year’s playoffs alone, there are five former Knicks picks still contributing to their teams. These ill conceived moves always get drenched under the geyser of greener grass. Ya like Fred, ya like Dick.

Why develop young talent over several years and contracts when you can squeeze in a proven box office draw that leaves casual fans wondering why the team is losing? Is it lack of continuity season to season? Is it the offense (Triangle, D’Antoni-ball)? Maybe it’s the trade induced lack of draft picks in consecutive seasons (Andrea Bargnani, Carmelo Anthony). Some people still think they’re still just one Maurice Taylor away from the second round of the playoffs. This franchise is starving for some set of players to rally around but they just never hang around to fulfill their promise (Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler). So if there’s anything Phil Jackson has gotten right it’s holding on to his draft picks. They still have second round picks going to various teams around the league this year, next year, the year after next year, the year following the year after next year and again in the season just beyond the year following the year after next year. But I swear, watch out, 2022! We’ve got our eye on you!

So anyway, the Knicks do have their pick this season and they did manage to snare a couple second rounders. So good on ya, Knicks! It’s that big one in the bottom half of the lottery that we’re most concerned with though, so let’s take a look at what I have learned from my sources at the league office about what the Knicks Big Board currently looks like:

Knicks Big Board

  1. Jayson Tatum - Perfect △ post up wing. Can score from anywhere. In all likelihood ideal as a stretch four but we are the New York Knicks. We are the New York Knicks.
  2. Josh Jackson - A bouncy wing that incentivizes moving Carmelo Anthony.
  3. Justin Jackson - Small forward, comes from a great tradition, necessitates moving Melo. Right?
  4. Rodions Kurucs - European small forward. Gotta get rid of Melo. Make it look smart, thoughtful. Draft and stash potential.
  5. Lauri Markkannen - Tall guy that can shoot. Probably shoots better four feet closer. We’ll make him take a step in.
  6. Dennis Smith - Explosive point guard that has questionable decision making skills. Perfect understudy for Derrick Rose. Instead of jumping to pass, just picks up dribble. Will need to learn to jump to pass.
  7. Lonzo Ball - Pipe dream. But if you can get the next Loy Peterson, you do it.
  8. Anzejs Pasecniks - 7’3” Latvian. No one will notice the difference, see. Won’t cash him outside taking cheap-o triples neither.
  9. Sindarius Thornwell - A wing that has some post up game. Very herbal.
  10. Joel Berry - Comes from a winning program. Strong tradition. Psychic connection. Appearing as mushroom in dream. Mother. High chair squeezing. Cornflower. Prayer.
  11. Przemek Karnowski - Wooly beard, big butt. Frees up that juicy Kyle O’Quinn trade.
  12. Kennedy Meeks - A big butt. Can’t get enough of those.
  13. Caleb Swanigan - A big butt. Just can’t have too many.

OK, maybe it looks a little different. There is some mockery of the actual truth here. Phil Jackson clearly has angled to get rid of Carmelo Anthony and has left the door open to re-sign Derrick Rose. So the management might, likewise, be interested in a bigger wing player with the thinking being they have the guard spot essentially figured out.

Now I’d say the Knicks should be keeping Carmelo, and looking for help at the lead guard. If my opinion mattered in the war room, I’d want the Knicks big board to look something like this:

Stingy Big Board

  1. Markelle Fultz - Does it all from the biggest position of need. Miracles have happened before (Patrick Ewing).
  2. Lonzo Ball - If doctors went into a lab to make a Jason Kidd/Kevin Martin hybrid. This is what they’d make. If lucky enough, the Lakers wont get their pick and LaVar Ball will scare away the entire league and Ball will fall.
  3. De’Aaron Fox - Fantastic floor leader, fills the position of most need. Could instantly be the best perimeter defender on the team by leaps and bounds.
  4. Malik Monk - Deceptively creative off the bounce. Stretches the floor extremely far out. Could be devastating if paired with Porzingis and both develop properly.
  5. Jayson Tatum - Incredible set of offensive talents. Can learn from one of the best and take over when the time comes.
  6. Jonathan Isaac - Wiry wild thing could turn into an Otto Porter type of tertiary glue star. Do Knicks have what it takes to develop talent and hang on to prospects that aren’t super duper stars? Let’s at least try.
  7. Josh Jackson - I dunno. I see boom or bust potential, but the ground floor is parlor level. Should be an NBA player for plenty of years.
  8. Luke Kennard - Just pretty damn good at everything. Something tells me he’ll get picked in the 15-20 range. But folks’ll “re-draft” in a few years and he’ll be top ten. When it’s all said and done, he might even be good enough to spend more years in the league as a starter than a rotation player.
  9. Frank Ntilikina - I’m not the most confident in his ability to be the dreamy two-way star people hope he can be. But it’s hard to deny the possibilities!
  10. It’s absolutely time to trade this pick.

Now the lottery hasn’t been drawn so plenty of things can change and drastically! Nevertheless I thought it would be fun to toss out some ideas given the current probabilities and support them with theories and stories. So here ya go

Stingy Mock Draft Lottery v1.0:

  1. Boston Celtics: Lonzo Ball, UCLA - Dastardly Danny Ainge leaps at the chance to horde talent and the possibility to shake down the Lakers for more than he’s worth. Testing Magic Johnson’s mettle. Ainge makes this pick half-heartedly relying on the possibility that Lonzo’s will can overpower his dad’s and he’ll just play for the Celtics with no added stress. Ainge will probably get Lonzo’s bus ticket out of town as soon as possible. He just can’t resist the temptation. And he’ll relish the upheaval in Laker land.
  2. Phoenix Suns: Markelle Fultz, Washington - Phoenix can’t not take the consensus number one pick. They weren’t sure what to do anyway, so this eases their pain. Worst case he can learn how to handle the NBA under the tutelage of the one and only Mr. Slugfest, Eric Bledsoe. With any luck, Fultz and Devin Booker can become a South Western version of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
  3. LA Lakers: De’Aron Fox, Kentucky - With plans to draft Lonzo, Lonzo and only Lonzo. The Lakers are surprised and their war room quickly spun out of control. With only seconds remaining on the clock, Rob Pelinka throws a glass of water in Magic Johnson’s face and shakes him by the shoulders, “We have to act fast! What do we need?!” Magic fumbles out, “The guard position”. Pelinka rips the phone off the hanger and calls the commissioner to request the bizarro D’Angelo Russell.
  4. Philadelphia 76ers: Malik Monk, Kentucky - Bona fide floor spacer who doesn’t need the ball and fills a position and skill of need. Somewhat out of character as far as decision making goes in Philadelphia. Monk pops the floor open for Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and co. as this young group of wild stallions lead the ‘6ers to the ‘offs in ‘18.
  5. Orlando Magic: Frank Ntilikina, France - Still unsure what to do on the perimeter, Orlando just tries to stack on long, athletic talent. He can’t possibly shoot worse than Elfrid Payton, right?

We’ll continue the mock draft shortly. But first, we have a trade to announce! The Boston Celtics have traded Lonzo Ball and Kelly Olynyk to the Sacramento Kings for Kosta Koufos, the 8th pick, the 10th pick and the 34th pick in the 2017 draft and a 2020 2nd round draft pick (via Detroit).

6. Minnesota: Jayson Tatum, Duke - Dag nabbit! The Knicks miss their guy by one slot, yet again. Tatum gives them a bit of inside-outside scoring pop to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. Maybe this helps Andrew Wiggins focus in on the defensive side of the ball and turn the Timberwolves around finally! Maybe it’s just the fate of the Knicks to be so thirsty to replace Carmelo that the best drink will be gone right before they can take a sip.

7. New York: Josh Jackson, Kansas - Wait did they make a good choice? Is it possible? Yea I suppose it is. Is Jackson going to be able to contribute right away? Probably not. Will fans and media run him out of town? Probably not. The city is looking for more building blocks. Being able to make and develop draft choices will be a huge part of the building block itself being successful. So there’s a step in the right direction. Somehow managing to NOT select Lauri Markannen. Still positioning themselves to jettison Carmelo.

8. Sacramento (For Boston): Lauri Markannen, Arizona - They just lost their best shooting big man. So with any luck, this tomato can will complete the recipe.

9. Dallas: Dennis Smith, NC State - Dallas needs a little of everything. I’m sure Dirk Nowtizki and Rick Carlisle will love the tunnel vision on this youngster.

10. Sacramento (For Boston): Jonathan Isaac, Florida St. - Boston gets another rangy wing that can play up and switch things and make some interesting stuff happen with off-ball cuts. Add some weight to the frame and he might see some impactful minutes in his rookie year.

Well there ya have it, a mockery of it all. The Knicks can’t fall below the tenth pick. SO that’s why I stopped there. Not to mention this article is prime tl;dr content. I’m certain you have opinions that are correct as opposed to mine, which are core dreck. And I never even graduated high school! So, make your own, have fun and see if you can’t find some way to be nice to someone you don’t know today. Byeeeeee.