Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Knicks coach David Fizdale confirmed in a Wednesday interview with the Dan Patrick Show that New York knows who it will take if the club wins the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. Reading between the lines, it seemed clear based on the interview that the club will select Duke sensation Zion Williamson if it gets the No. 1 pick.
"If we win the lottery, do we know who we're taking?" the Knicks coach said in an interview with the "Dan Patrick Show."
Patrick then jokingly said, "OK, let's bring out Zion Williamson" and Fizdale laughed.
The Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers all have a 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick. They have a 40 percent chance of landing a top-three pick and a 48 percent chance of getting the No. 5 pick. Since New York finished with the worst record in the NBA, the club will pick no lower than fifth.
The draft order will be determined on Tuesday evening.
Fizdale was asked by Patrick if Williamson or Murray State point guard Ja Morant -- a presumptive top-three pick -- would fit New York's roster.
"I think just for us, our roster is so open from that standpoint that we can have a lot of things fit us right now," Fizdale said. "Obviously, we always want the biggest talent. You want to see electric players. And both of those guys are that."
Fizdale added that he doesn't believe you can compare Williamson -- a 6-7, 285-pound forward -- to any previous or current players.
"He's his own guy, he's unique," the coach said.
When Patrick suggested that Morant is a better shooter and passer than Dwyane Wade was at this point in his career, Fizdale agreed. Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry said that they have been preparing for the draft for the entire season, an approach that most franchises take.
As evidence that they aren't just paying attention to the top three prospects, some Knicks talent evaluators are fans of Duke forward Cam Reddish, per SNY sources.
This is not to say that the Knicks will certainly target Reddish if they end up picking fourth or fifth. There is a long way to go between now and when they're on the clock on June 20. But Reddish does have New York talent evaluators who think highly of him.
The Knicks will interview multiple prospects in Chicago next week at the NBA Draft Combine. Fizdale, who participated in those interviews last year, said they can be instructive.
"I want to know the true kid. I want to know who they are," he said. "I want to hear the truth from them. I want to hear honest answers. I want to hear the raw. We do so much background on these guys, and so when we start getting into their background, you can ask pointed questions to get into the character of the kid, type of worker they are, how hungry they are, what kind of leader they are. I like to hear that face to face."
As far as free agency goes, Fizdale said he will talk to potential free agents about the relationship he has with his players.
"Paint the picture from a coaching standpoint of what the Knicks are becoming," Fizdale said of his approach in meetings. "And try to really make players understand the type of relationship I'm trying to build as a coach and the type of team I'm trying to build to ultimately win a title."
New York will likely meet with several top free agents, including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, in early July.
Several of Durant's current and former teammates told friends during the regular season that they expect him to sign with the Knicks this summer, sources say.
New York will have enough cap space to sign two max free agents.
HAYNES JOINS BDA:
Justin Haynes, a longtime NBA agent who represented NBA players and international pros at Worldwide Sports Management -- his own firm -- has joined BDA Sports. Haynes, based in New Jersey, will be representing NBA players for the firm, which was founded by Bill Duffy.