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Knicks could follow 2007 Celtics model after Draft Lottery bust

The Lakers were one of the big winners Tuesday night.Getty Images

Conspiracy theorists thinking that the NBA wanted one of its marquee, large market franchises to nab a top pick in the 2015 NBA Draft weren’t exactly silenced Tuesday night at the draft lottery. The Los Angeles Lakers moved up from the 4 spot to the 2 spot thanks to a lucky ping-pong ball bounce and the Knicks were on the receiving end of a cruel lotto blow as they fell from 2 to 4.

New York owned a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the lottery. a 38 percent chance to land a top two pick and a 55 percent chance to land a top three pick. The odds weren’t great, but it’s an extreme disappointment for the Knicks – a franchise that rarely found itself with a chance to land the No. 1 pick in the lottery, even after brutal seasons, thanks to years of going for the “quick fix.” This season, New York finished with a 17-65 record, blatantly shooting for the No. 1 or at least No. 2 selection. Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns have emerged, in recent weeks, as the decided 1-2 picks in this year’s draft.

In Metro’s latest NBA Mock Draft, Emmanuel Mudiay – the point guard from China – went No. 3 overall and Duke swingman Justise Winslow went No. 4.

The Knicks may opt to package the pick in a trade and follow the model the Boston Celtics created back in 2007 when it didn’t get any lottery luck. Boston fell to the 5-spot that year, and flipped the pick in a deal that landed Ray Allen. The Celtics already had a Carmelo Anthony-like star in Paul Pierce and eventually convinced Kevin Garnett to waive his no-trade clause to come to Boston. The Celtics won the NBA title the very next year.

Knicks president Phil Jackson said he would be open to anything, but cautioned that a turnaround won’t happen overnight.

“We don’t expect to go to the championship next year. I mean, that would be talking crazy,” Jackson said at the end of the Knicks’ season. “But we really do think progressively we’re going to get better. I don’t think teams move as rapidly as that in this league. I think you have to take substantial steps and that’s what we want to do.”

 
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