Once it became clear the Knicks would not be invited to the NBA’s resumption in Disney World, the next item on New York’s calendar was the draft lottery, but at the time it was unknown when the annual ping pong party would be held.
Today, that question has been answered. The lottery will be held on Aug. 20, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. That’s less than two weeks away! Thus, the Knicks will soon know what pick they’ll have in the draft, which is currently scheduled for Friday, Oct. 16.
Like many things in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the lottery will be virtual, which means we won’t get the usual dais representatives sitting next to each other, trying to pretend they aren’t so pissed when their team is called earlier than they would have liked. None of the Knicks recent attempts to get Lady Luck on their side have worked.
Patrick Ewing’s appearance last year resulted in the third pick, which became R.J. Barrett; in 2018, Scott Perry sat on the dais and the Knicks received the ninth pick, which turned into Kevin Knox. In 2017, Walt Clyde Frazier represented the Knicks, which were awarded the eighth pick, aka Frank Ntilikina. In 2016, the Knicks didn’t have a dais rep because they traded it as part of the 2011 Carmelo Anthony trade. That’s probably about as far back as we need to go.
The Knicks were the sixth worst team in the NBA this year, and according to Tankathon.com they are most likely to land the seventh pick. There is, of course, a chance the team moves up, and there’s a 9% chance the Knicks luck out and get the number one overall pick for the first time since 1985.
The Knicks have been scouting the upcoming draft class for awhile — that’s presumably why they’re keeping Perry around for now — so they should be prepared regardless of which pick they get. No matter where they land, what the team does in the 2020 draft will be an important harbinger of how the Leon Rose era might go. Will he kill the draft, or will the draft kill him?
We won’t know the answer to that question for at least a few more months, but at least there’s finally some clarity as to when we’ll find out which pick the Knicks are going to get. The franchise could sure use a lucky ping pong ball.