Last year, there wasn’t too much suspense about the top of the NBA Draft. It had long been established that Zion Williamson was going to be the No. 1 pick, and by the time draft night rolled around, Ja Morant at No. 2 and RJ Barrett at No. 3 were all but locked in.
This time, however, there’s really no telling what’s going to happen — especially since we still don’t know where teams will be picking. (Details about the Draft Lottery, and later the 2020 NBA Draft, will be determined after the league finalizes plans for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.)
But even if teams don’t know their exact draft position, they have a general idea based on their place in the standings, and it’s never too early to prepare. In fact, scouting prospects is one of the few things teams actually were able to do over the past few months. Now, we’re starting to get some reports about what teams are thinking about this year’s class.
The New York Knicks will once again find themselves in the lottery, and they’re apparently high on LaMelo Ball, who spent last season playing professionally in Australia. The youngest Ball brother is an intriguing prospect, and the top point guard on their draft board, according to a report from Marc Berman of the New York Post.
There’s no question the Knicks need a point guard for the future — Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton have shown they are not the long-term answer — and the Post has also reported that LaVar Ball is interested in steering LaMelo to Madison Square Garden. With Ball’s potential both on and off the court, the fit makes sense.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, they may need to make some moves in order to get him. Based on their current record, they’re penciled into the No. 6 slot, and even though there’s plenty of debate about what will happen at the top of the draft, Ball doesn’t figure to last that long. In fact, both Kyle Boone and Gary Parrish of CBS Sports have Ball going No. 1 overall in their latest mock drafts.
Whether they need to make a trade, or happen to jump up in the lottery won’t be clear for at least a few weeks, and possibly months. And of course, they could always decide to go in a different direction. Regardless, it’s always fascinating to see what happens with the Knicks and the draft. There’s never a shortage of drama.