The Knicks could use a little bit of luck — and they’re hoping Leon Rose can provide it.
The team announced that its new president will represent the organization during the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery on Thursday night, where the Knicks will look to move up in the selection process for the first time since 1985.
That was the year they were controversially awarded the No. 1 pick, and with it, Patrick Ewing.
Some call it a curse that the Knicks haven’t been able to find any sort of luck with the ping pong balls. They’ve remained rooted in their expected position in each of the last three lotteries and four of the previous five.
They had more opportunities to be in the lottery running in years past considering they’ve made the playoffs just four times in the last 17 years. Yet questionable deals have seen the Knicks pick just eight times in the lottery dating back to 2003.
That’s par for the course given the dysfunction of the organization in the James Dolan era.
But Rose has been brought in to change the culture of a franchise that has become synonymous with losing — even though they’re one of the most recognizable brands in the sport.
His busy, extended offseason has been in overdrive in recent weeks as he brought on the established Tom Thibodeau as head coach and long-time Kentucky associate coach Kenny Payne — who worked with the likes of Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns — as an assistant.
The Knicks finished their shortened 2019-20 season with a 21-45 record, which is the sixth-worst record in the NBA. They have a 9% chance of winning the lottery and the No. 1 overall pick and a 28% chance of getting a top-3 selection.
They also have the No. 27 pick in the first round after the trade of Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this season.