The New York Knicks haven’t been relevant in quite some time, and even though it always seems like they’re on the verge of turning the corner, they end up empty-handed.
It seems like, besides poor management, they’ve also been quite unlucky when it comes to drafting talents, as more often than not, the best player isn’t there when they’re on the clock.
So, unless they end up with the 1st overall pick, it seems like they’re just never going to get a can’t-miss kind of talent. If you don’t take our word for it, take a look at some of the players taken just one pick prior to their selection since 2008:
2008 NBA Draft – Kevin Love
The class of 2008 was stacked with talent, as the top 5 picks looked like generational talents ready to compete at the highest level. Sadly for the Knicks, they were entitled to the 6th overall pick, which they used to draft Danilo Gallinari.
While Gallo has had a nice career in the NBA and drafting him eventually led to the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Madison Square Garden, they were incredibly close to getting Kevin Love instead, who went 5th overall.
2009 NBA Draft – Stephen Curry
There were some doubts about several players in the 2009 class. Most of them looked like risky options but had enough potential to be worthy of a top-10 pick. This time, the Knicks were in power of the 8th overall pick, so it looked like they were going to land a star.
But, with Stephen Curry already out of the table as the Golden State Warriors took him 7th overall, the Knicks turned their heads towards Jordan Hill. No disrespect to Hill, but he’s not even in the league anymore, while Curry is a 2-time MVP, 3-time Champion, and the best shooter ever.
2011 NBA Draft – Nikola Vucevic
Back in 2011, the New York Knicks were a bit of a rising force in the Eastern Conference as they were set to draft out of the lottery for the first time in a while. Needless to say, they weren’t hoping to get a franchise player with the 17th overall pick.
However, had they been entitled to the 16th pick instead of 17th, they could’ve had one of the best scoring big men in the league in Nikola Vucevic, who was taken by the Sixers. Instead, the Knicks drafted Iman Shumpert.
2014 NBA Draft – Joe Harris
The Knicks didn’t own a first-round pick during the 2014 NBA Draft, so everybody knew they would have to dig really deep to find a talent worthy of making their roster, considering they were set to pick early in the second round with the 34th selection.
They used said pick to Draft Cleanthony Early, an instant-offense kind of player whose career was cut short due to inconsistency and injuries. Sadly for them, Joe Harris was taken just one pick before, and he’s now one of the league’s finest shooters.
2017 NBA Draft – Lauri Markkanen
The class of 2017 was loaded with talent but the Knicks fell all the way to the 8th spot in the lottery. Still, they were pretty confident about their chances of drafting a franchise player when they took Frank Ntilikina out of France.
While Ntilikina is slowly turning into one of the league’s most promising backcourt defenders, the Knicks could’ve had Lauri Markkanen instead, who was taken by the Timberwolves and immediately sent to the Bulls as a part of the Jimmy Butler trade.
2019 NBA Draft – Ja Morant
And last but not least, the 2019 Draft has to be a nightmare for most Knick fans. They had the biggest chance to get the 1st overall pick and Draft Zion Williamson, but somehow they ended up with the 3rd pick, which they used to draft RJ Barrett.
Don’t get me wrong, Barrett is an incredibly talented player with enough potential to become an All-Star. However, they could’ve had a league-ready dominant point guard in Ja Morant, who’s looking like an MVP in the making. Tough luck, Knicks.