The New York Knicks franchise trajectory took a turn for the worse tonight. The team will select fourth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, 2 picks worse than expected. This means that the top three prospects in the draft will all likely be gone.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor? Forget about it. The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers both are in need of centers, and Towns and Okafor are franchise guys. The Philadelphia 76ers are in need of a point guard, so they’ll select either D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay. The one who isn’t selected will be available for the Knicks.
While fourth isnt the worst case scenario, it’s a tough blow for Knicks fans who witnessed the worst season in franchise history, praying for the top overall pick. While Russell or Mudiay may well be great players, they each present their fair share of risk.
So what does the fourth pick mean?
For one, it means that the Knicks will be active in trade talks. It was pretty apparent that if the team didn’t land in the top 3, they would be open to flipping the pick for a star or several good players. While The fourth pick may not attract as much return, the option of a trade is still very much on the table.
If they end up keeping the pick, expect them to go point guard. Russell and Mudiay both are high upside players with great scoring abilities, and both with excellent feels for the game. Each has a few weaknesses, whether it be athleticism for Russell or jump shooting for Mudiay, but each does have star upside.
If they go point guard, it also means they’ll be active in the big men market during free agency. While this could mean huge names like Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Love, it more realistically means names like Greg Monroe or Paul Millsap.
Whatever happens in the future, at the moment, Knicks fans worldwide are gutted at the outcome of the draft lottery.