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It's no surprise that the Knicks didn't get any luck in the NBA Draft Lottery and stayed at the ninth spot -- where they were projected to pick. The good news is that they didn't drop, which has happened before. In the end, the Knicks will have a top 10 pick that they desperately need to be an impact player immediately. There's no time to draft another project like Frank Ntilikina.
Here's what not moving up in the lottery means for the Knicks...
First off, they are definitely out on adding Luka Doncic -- another European player -- to the fold. He will likely go No. 2 to the Kings unless his former coach, Igor Kokoslov, passes on DeAndre Ayton and takes him with the first pick. Either way, both the Suns and Kings are getting potential franchise players that they both need badly.
Secondly, this also means that the Knicks likely aren't getting Trae Young. The explosive guard out of Oklahoma is essentially a lock to get picked before the Knicks are up. Young would have given the Knicks some more depth in the backcourt and some scoring that Ntilikina doesn't give them. Nonetheless, guard isn't the biggest need right now for this team, so it's not the be-all, end-all.
With that being said, if somehow Collin Sexton isn't picked by the time the Knicks are up, he has to be the first player on the radar. It would be absolutely stunning if he's still there, especially when the Cavaliers right in front of the Knicks at No. 8 badly could use a point guard this offseason. It's a pipe dream for the Knicks to land Sexton. It's not a pipe dream for the Cavaliers. And with J.R. Smith on the roster, that only seems right.
Finally, with the Knicks staying where they were projected, it should mean Mikal Bridges is still available for them to take. There's a chance he gets picked before then, but Bridges is the best available player that should be left. He's won two titles at Villanova and is the only upper-classman in the lottery, which means he's more developed and built.
I've been on board the Mikal Bridges train since the season ended, and he's a player the Knicks can slot right in to start at small forward if they don't make a move to get someone. He should be ready to contribute from day one, and his size and frame allow him to cover multiple positions. The Knicks could really use his versatility.
The backup plans if Bridges is off the board? It seems that Wendell Carter Jr. would be a guy the Knicks could target. Carter is not as polished as Bridges, but he's a big man, which the Knicks are definitely in need of, and he could also shoot from the outside. The 6-11 forward is versatile and can make things happen on offense. His defense will be the question mark. I really see it coming down to Carter or Bridges. Miles Bridges out of Michigan State would be the last resort after those options. Miles is an explosive scorer and would also be a guy who can start at the three right away.
This is a big-time decision that Scott Perry and company need to make. Last year, they missed out on some studs. They hope that Ntilikina turns into a franchise player, but I don't think that will be happening. The rebuild to turn this team around begins with this pick, just days before NBA free agency begins. It's time to get this thing rolling in the right direction.