The Pick is 8 as Jackson and Front Office Begin to Evaluate Options

by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

On Tuesday night, the official 2017 NBA Draft order was revealed in New York and the second-likeliest scenario unfolded for the Knicks.  New York received the eighth overall pick, which effectively starts the countdown clock to the Draft on June 22.

“I think that we’re good at what we do,” president Phil Jackson confidently stated following the Lottery.  “We look forward to a young player that we’ll be able to draft next month.”

There are plenty of options for the Knicks in what is considered a talent-rich class filled with stellar freshman performers.  Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, De’Aaron Fox, and Malik Monk are just some of the headliners the mock drafts have identified as top picks.  However, players like Dennis Smith, Frank Ntilikina, Lauri Markkanen, and Jonathan Isaac are names to keep an eye on when examining the prospects available in New York’s range.

“It is a deep and talented draft class and I think it could be the youngest first round we have ever seen.  You could see as many as 15, maybe more freshman go in the top 30 picks,” ESPN college analyst Jay Bilas said on Tuesday night.

Armed with the eighth overall pick, Jackson and the front office should take solace in the fact that 15-of-24 players that participated in the 2017 All-Star game were drafted seventh or later.  Two years ago, the Knicks dropped back one spot to fourth and selected Kristaps Porzingis, a relatively unknown 7-footer from Latvia.  Porzingis is now classified as one of the most intriguing and exciting young players in the league.

On June 22, New York will also be presented with the opportunity to add depth, via two second round picks.  The Knicks own the 44th and 58th overall selections while also possessing the ability to purchase a second-round pick on Draft night.

“We’ll get a talented young player,” Jackson said, “hopefully someone that can contribute this next year.”

The Knicks president added, “We have a guard need, we have a wing need. So, we know what we need.”

Stay tuned for comprehensive coverage and prospect profiles leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft on Knicks.com.