Another year, another anticlimactic lottery for the Knicks.
The franchise, coming off a disappointing 31-51 season after harboring hopes of postseason contention, will select eighth after failing to overcome the odds in Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery from the New York Hilton Midtown. The Knicks held a 5.3% chance at No. 1 and an 18.2% shot at a top-three selection.
The Celtics won the lottery and will draft first, followed by the Lakers and 76ers. The Knicks and the other remaining clubs in the 14-team lottery field will pick in order of finish, from worst to best, when the draft takes place June 22 at Barclays Center.
Not since winning the Patrick Ewing Sweepstakes in 1985, the first year of the draft lottery, have the pingpong balls favored the Knicks. Their highest pick since Ewing, who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the franchise, was current cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis (fourth overall in 2015).
The Nets, who finished with the worst record in the NBA (20-62), would have held the best odds (25%) to lock up the top pick, but the Celtics exercised their right to swap first-round picks this year as part of the 2013 dubious trade that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from Boston to Brooklyn. The Celtics also own the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.