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New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Draft Lottery odds

The New York Knicks finished with the worst record in the 2018-19 regular season, but the new draft lottery odds don’t reward losing as much in years past. Here is how the 2019 NBA Draft lottery could turn out for New York.

The New York Knicks had a clear agenda heading into the 2018-19 regular season. They wanted to develop their younger players, which is a nice way of saying they were going to tank, and tank they did.

New York finished the season with the worst record in NBA in David FIzdale’s first season as head coach, going 17-65.

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It was tied for the worst record in franchise history, which was set during the 2014-15 season, the first year Derek Fisher was head coach. The first-year win total of 31 for Jeff Hornacek in between those two looks a lot more impressive when observing through this lens.

Following that first 17-win season, the Knicks actually didn’t have the worst record in the league. That designation went to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who won the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery. In typical Knicks fashion, they dropped from the No. 2 spot in the lottery to No. 4 in the draft.

It wound up being a blessing in disguise, as New York landed Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick. While that relationship ended poorly, they lucked out despite dropping in the lottery. Dropping in the lottery this year would be tough to stomach.

That is because there is a clear-cut No. 1 prospect in this year’s draft class in Zion Williamson. Of course, the year that the Knicks expertly tank and finish with the worst record by two games, the NBA Draft Lottery odds have changed, lowering their odds of landing the top pick.

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In previous years, the team with the worst record couldn’t fall past the No. 4 overall pick and had a 25 percent chance of landing the top selection.

This is the first year that the three worst teams in the regular season will have the same 14 percent odds at winning the No. 1 overall pick. Joining the Knicks in the bottom three are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, who tied with identical 19-63 records.

Those three teams have identical odds of landing the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 overall picks as well. The furthest the Knicks can drop, courtesy of having the worst record in the league, is No. 5.

  • 1st: 14.0%
  • 2nd: 13.4%
  • 3rd: 12.7%
  • 4th: 12.0%
  • 5th: 47.9%

New York has landed the No. 1 overall pick four times in franchise history. The first came in 1963 when they selected Art Heyman. The following year, they landed Jim Barnes with the No. 1 overall pick. In 1966, Cazzie Russell was their top overall pick. The last time New York landed the first pick was in the draft the first year the lottery was instituted, when they selected Patrick Ewing.

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The Knicks are hoping to rekindle some of that luck, as Ewing will be representing the team at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.

“Patrick is a huge part of our team’s history and we’re thrilled to have number 33 represent the franchise at this year’s draft lottery,” said Steve Mills, President, New York Knicks. “Patrick’s connection to the lottery is well documented, and we’re proud to have one of the all-time Knicks greats sit on the dais on behalf of the team, the city and the fans.”

The orange and blue have landed the No. 2 overall pick twice in franchise history, selecting Tom Stith in 1961 and Paul Hogue in 1962. They have had the No. 3 overall pick three times, selecting Mike Farmer, Darrall Imhoff and Dave Stallworth in 1958, 1960 and 1965, respectively.

The No. 4 pick has been owned by the Knicks six times and produced some great players. Dolph Schayes, Kenny Sears, Micheal Ray Richardson and Porzingis were all All-Stars at least once, with Schayes getting into the Hall of Fame.

The No. 5 overall pick, which is the single likeliest outcome for the Knicks this year, has been the team’s selection five times. While it didn’t produce as many great players, it produced arguably the best Knick of all-time when Walt Frazier was selected at No. 5 in 1967.

While Zion has dominated headlines for this draft class, Ja Morant looks like another transcendent talent and is the No. 2 prospect. Williamson’s Duke teammate, R.J. Barrett, is thought to round out the likely top three picks, while New York has talent evaluators that really like another Duke player in Cam Reddish.

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Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver and Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland could all be in the mix as well depending on where the Knicks land in the lottery.

Fans will be sweating out the lottery, but things will really heat up in New York come free agency. This top pick may not even make it to New York depending on how free agency turns out, as the team could use this as a trade chip to land someone like Anthony Davis in a trade.

The Knicks’ offseason truly starts after the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, which will be on ESPN on May 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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