NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Knicks general manager Steve Mills hoped history would repeat itself by wearing Dave DeBusschere’s Hall of Fame ring, which DeBusschere was wearing as the Knicks’ GM when they won the 1985 lottery.
But luck wasn’t on his side Tuesday night. The Knicks won’t pick first or second for a guaranteed chance to land Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns or Duke’s Jahlil Okafor in the upcoming NBA draft. They don’t have the third selection, either.
Despite setting a franchise record in futility at 17-65, the second-worst record in the league, the Knicks dropped to fourth in the draft lottery.
“Obviously, we would have liked to receive a higher pick, but we went into this knowing that anywhere between one and five we were going to get a good pick,” Mills said.
On Twitter, the reaction was much different:
The Minnesota Timberwolves (16-66) won the lottery, the first time since 2004 the team with the worst record earned the No. 1 pick. The Knicks were on track to finish at the bottom of the NBA’s standings until they won three of their last six games in April.
“We feel really good about this pick,” Mills said of landing the fourth selection. “We felt that in this draft we could have gotten a good player with any pick on through five. We went into this very optimistic and we will remain that way.”
The Knicks will likely be looking at a point guard — D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay — at No. 4, though Mills hinted that New York could trade down for a veteran player.
“We have a lot of things that are on the table at this point,” Mills said. “We still have (trade) exceptions that we can use between now and the draft, so we’re talking to teams about a lot of different things, so we’re open to looking at different opportunities to continue to improve our team.”
“We have a lot of young players on our roster right now, and our goal is to expand the team and add some more veteran, more experienced players,” he added.
The Los Angeles Lakers moved from the fourth spot to second, keeping a pick they would have sent to Philadelphia if it fell outside the top five. The 76ers will select third, and Orlando fifth.
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