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Knicks set to draft ninth after failing to move up in NBA Draft Lottery

The franchise has not improved its draft position through the system since winning the first lottery in 1985.

Collin Sexton is expected to be on the

Collin Sexton is expected to be on the Knicks radar when they draft ninth overall. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr

If, indeed, the first NBA Draft Lottery in 1985 was rigged in favor of the New York Knicks — as the conspiracy theory goes — the franchise has been done no favors ever since.

The unlucky trend continued Tuesday as the Knicks failed to move into the top three picks in the draft as this year’s lottery results were revealed in Chicago. The odds weren’t in their favor, anyway, as they had just a 1.7 percent chance at No. 1 and an 8.7 percent shot at the top three.

The Phoenix Suns won the lottery, entering with the best odds (25 percent) to do so, and will select first overall when the draft itself arrives at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 21. The Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks will pick second and third, respectively. The Knicks, who were represented onstage in Chicago by general manager Scott Perry, will draft ninth.

Players currently projected to be selected at the back of the top 10 include Texas center and Harlem native Mohamed Bamba, Villanova swingman Mikal Bridges and Alabama point guard Collin Sexton.

Since switching to the current weighted system, the Ping-Pong ball have not been kind to the Knicks. They have participated in 13 of the last 17 draft lotteries, typically with less than a 5 percent chance at No. 1.

In 2006, the Knicks won the No. 2 pick after finishing with the second-worst record, but the Chicago Bulls already owned the pick as part of the infamous Eddy Curry trade. With the fifth-best odds at the top pick (7.6 percent) in 2008, they were leapfrogged by the Bulls and forced to pick sixth.

At least the Knicks made the most of their bad luck in 2015. Despite a 55.8 percent chance to pick in the top three after finishing second-worst, they settled for the No. 4 pick. They used that pick on Kristaps Porzingis, who was named a first-time All-Star this past season before suffering a season-ending torn ACL.

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