Phil Jackson and the Knicks had hoped that this season’s blatant tank job would yield them a top-three pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but New York was dealt somewhat of a disappointing blow to their rebuild efforts when they were awarded the fourth overall pick during last month’s Draft Lottery.
No one has any idea what the Knicks intend to do with the pick, as general manager Steve Mills stated that New York would explore all options, including the possibility of trading the pick. The Knicks have also been linked to Emmanuel Mudiay, Justise Winslow and Willie Cauley-Stein, but according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, they’re intrigued by another Kentucky big man: Trey Lyles.
While Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein have garnered the most attention, the Knicks for months have been enamored with Trey Lyles, according to a team source. Lyles is a 6-foot-10 forward out of Indianapolis who Phil Jackson sees as a good fit for the triangle offense.
Would the Knicks select Lyles with the fourth overall pick? Crazier things have happened and if Jackson truly believes Lyles, the 2014 Indiana Mr. Basketball who was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and has played internationally for the U.S. and Canada, is worth it, perhaps he’ll make the move. A more plausible scenario would be for the Knicks to trade down, since most draft experts don’t see him as a top 10 pick.
The X-factor is what the Los Angeles Lakers do or don’t do with the second pick.
In Basketball Society’s latest mock draft, Lyles is slated to go 17th overall to the Milwaukee Bucks, with other mock’s having high as 15th or 14th. Whatever the Knicks decide to do with their pick is obviously up to management, but fans just hope it lands them the best player(s) possible.
Whether New York feels as if that occurs via the draft or a trade remains to be seen, but they must make a wise decision. Trying to cheat a rebuild can come back to bite you, and no one knows that better than the Knicks, who have made a countless number of foolish decisions over the past 15 years.