The Draft Lottery is set to kick off tonight at 8:30 ET, and for the fourteen teams with ping pong balls, their future is in the air.
Last year’s lottery kicked off a firestorm of an offseason that is having a direct impact on this year’s playoffs. As a result of Cleveland, who had just a 1.7% chance, in winning the 2014 lottery they were able to lure Lebron James away from Miami and trade for Kevin Love. In one year they went from a lottery team to looking like a lock to win the Eastern Conference, proving that lottery luck can make a break a franchises direction.
Though the Knicks were headed in the direction of playoff birth this year, the thought was quickly squashed when they started out the season 4-20. Since then, their eyes have been on the 2015 NBA draft.
They haven’t had a high draft pick in years, which has a whole lot to do with their mediocrity during the last decade and a half. The Knicks have turned around their fortunes through the draft lottery before though. They won the 1985 lottery, the year in which Patrick Ewing, one of the most dominant college centers ever, came into the draft. That year, there were rumors swirling that David Stern fixed the lottery to ensure that the media market giant that NY is, came out with Ewing, supposedly folding a corner of the envelope.
Since then, the lottery has moved to ping pong balls and there is a new “Commish” in town, so its doubtful the Knicks will have any help. But, if they can get lucky, two of the best big men to come out of the draft in recent memory are sitting atop many team’s big boards. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor both have superstar potential at the Center position.
If you’re a Knicks fan, or even a NY fan, you better pray that luck is shining on the city that never sleeps tonight, because a couple bouncing balls could be the difference between a Spurs and Duncan-esque run of dominance, or another decade of mediocrity.
Words by Leo Daunt