Knicks Lose Lottery, Will Pick Third In NBA Draft

May 14, 2019 - 8:54 pm


The New York Knicks were the worst team in the NBA last season, but they won’t have the first overall pick in the draft.

New York’s tanking was not rewarded on Tuesday night as the New Orleans Pelicans won the NBA draft lottery and the right to choose first in June’s NBA Draft. The Knicks will choose third and will thus certainly miss out on the chance to draft Zion Williamson, who is nearly unanimously projected to be the top pick.

The Knicks’ failure to win the lottery could play a role in Kevin Durant’s decision making after the playoffs. The Golden State Warriors star has been linked heavily with a move to New York in free agency this summer, as has Boston’s Kyrie Irving.


Assuming Williamson goes first, the Knicks will now be looking at one of the other players projected to go in the lottery. Ja Morant, RJ Barrett, De’Andre Hunter and a few others could be available when it's New York's turn on the clock. It’s not as valuable a bargaining chip as it could have been, but the team could still opt to trade the pick.

The Knicks were victims of the league’s new draft lottery reform. New York would have had a 25% chance to get the first pick if it had finished as the worst team in the NBA last year. David Fizdale’s team’s chance at the top pick this year was just 14%, despite a historically bad season.

There was no luck for Patrick Ewing, who was the selection in 1985, the only other time the Knicks have won the draft lottery. Ewing spoke afterwards about how Knicks fans should react now that their team has the No. 3 pick. 

"Be happy with what we have," Ewing said. "Cherish him. Help him. Support him. Support the team, and hopefully good things will come."

New York was also watching to see where the Mavericks ended up. Because Dallas didn’t end up in the top five, New York will receive an unprotected first round pick in 2021 and a protected first round pick in 2023. The picks are both a result of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

Here is the complete order of lottery picks:

1. New Orleans 
2. Memphis
3. New York         
4. Los Angeles Lakers     
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix           
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta 
9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte         
13. Miami 
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)

The rest of the first-round order is as follows:

15. Detroit 
16. Orlando           
17. Brooklyn          
18. Indiana            
19. San Antonio     
20. Boston (from LA Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Boston
23. Utah
24. Philadelphia
25. Portland
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State 
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
30. Milwaukee