With a 21-45 record before the NBA season was put on hold, the Knicks currently have the sixth-best odds to land the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
But if the ping pong balls don't fall their way, would the Knicks be willing to trade up to that first spot to land their top player? One NBA Insider seems to think so.
Appearing recently as a guest on the Locked on Warriors podcast, Chad Ford speculated that the Knicks could be willing to trade up, if need be, to select LaMelo Ball.
"I think there's one team that I see out there that might be desperate to get up and really make some buzz, and that's the Knicks," Ford said. "And if the Knicks don't get the number one pick in this draft, just given the trajectory of that franchise over the years, I could see them, they have some assets, they'll still probably have a fairly high lottery pick, packaging all of that together to try to get up to make a big splash. And if there's a guy that sort of makes sense in New York, it's LaMelo Ball."
Ball, the 6-foot-7 point guard who is currently playing in Australia, is the brother of Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball. LaMelo's father, Lavar, recently said that he believes the Knicks would be the best landing spot for LaMelo.
"The best fit, in my eyes, is New York," Lavar said. "The New York Knicks because I know Melo. Melo is a big-city guy. He likes that. He'd love it. So everybody's talking about the city type of thing. Cleveland, he already lived in Cleveland. He don't like that cold weather like that -- especially if you're not going to be inside with a lot of bright lights.
"So I think it's about time for New York. I kind of feel like they're going to get the first pick, on the fact that they missed it so many times and it's time for it to happen to them."
Ball, who officially declared for the 2020 draft in late April, averaged 17.0 points. 6.8 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals while playing 31.3 minutes per game in 12 games for Illawara of Australia's NBL.
What the Knicks are desperately in need of, aside from a superstar presence is a scoring point guard. Elfrid Payton is more of a distributor, Frank Ntilikina is a defense-first guard, and Dennis Smith Jr.'s offensive game just hasn't shown any progress since joining the team.
Ball could be the exact player the Knicks are looking for, and if Ford's hunch is correct, they may just be willing to trade up to land him.