Knicks GM Scott Perry says the team is prepared for any and all possibilities heading into the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night.
"Whatever is in the cards for us (Tuesday), we'll be more than able and willing to handle that and execute the draft position that we have," Perry said Monday in an interview on ESPN Radio's Golic & Wingo Show.
The Knicks, Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns each have a 14 percent chance of landing the top pick on Tuesday night. All three clubs also have a 40 percent chance of landing a top-three pick and a 52 percent chance of landing a top-four pick. The Knicks will pick no lower than fifth since they finished with the league's worst record (17-65).
Perry on Monday said, no matter where the Knicks land, their meetings with individual draft prospects will play a key role in whom they decide to select.
"So much of it will get down to when we get a chance to meet these young players and really get a feel for their personalities," Perry said on Monday. "Because we've been able to evaluate their talent from afar on the floor, we've been able to talk to a number of sources about them, but now, that final touch really comes down to your personal interaction with each of these players."
Obviously, if the Knicks get the top pick, the smart money says they are going to select Zion Williamson. (It was easy to draw that conclusion from the between-the-lines interpretation of David Fizdale's interview last week.)
But if they don't land the top pick, Perry mentioned several players, including Murray State's Ja Morant, the top prospects at Duke outside of Williamson, DeAndre Hunter and Brandon Clarke as players' teams will take a look at early in the first round.
"We're going to be prepared for whatever happens (Tuesday) in that room with the ping-pong balls," Perry said. "We know that we're going to be able to add a good basketball player into an environment that we think is very suited and conducive to developing young players as we were able to do this year with the strong draft class that we had last year with Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Allonzo Trier."
The Knicks will have a chance to interview top prospects this week at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and during individual private workouts at their facility leading up to the draft. It's worth noting that Knox made a strong impression on the Knicks during a scrimmage against other players at the team facility before the draft.
Perry added on Monday that the Knicks didn't tank this season, pointing out that they were the youngest team in the league. They also played younger players ahead of vets in an effort to get those young acclimated to the NBA game (Enes Kanter's benching is an example).
Perry was asked on Monday about the lottery odds changing this season. In recent seasons, the team with the worst record had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick.
"Do you wish that it was 25 percent chance for this year and then change for next year?
Maybe. We're going to live with what's out there right now," Perry said, pointing out that the last time New York won the lottery in 1985 they had a 14 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick.