Why the Knicks’ draft-lottery ‘loss’ to the Mavericks would possibly assist them in the long term

Technically, the Knicks misplaced Tuesday night time.

They’d an opportunity — a 20.2 p.c probability at that — to wind up with the Mavericks’ 2023 first-round decide, and the ping-pong balls didn’t bounce their way.

As a part of the Kristaps Porzingis commerce, they owned the rights to Dallas’ first-round decide, which might convey this yr provided that it was exterior of the highest 10.

It wound up at No. 10, that means the Knicks’ rights to the decide now carry over into subsequent yr — so long as it isn’t within the prime 10 once more.

There are positives and negatives to this.

The foremost damaging is the Knicks don’t personal a single decide in June’s loaded draft. They despatched their very own first-round decide to the Path Blazers in the Josh Hart trade.

The Mavericks come up in No. 10 spot within the 2023 NBA Draft, protecting the protected decide away from the Knicks for not less than another yr.
NBAE through Getty Photos

However for a workforce that’s clearly in win-now mode, having a future asset isn’t the worst factor.

Keep in mind, the Knicks had the No. 11 total decide in final yr’s draft, and ended up buying and selling out of the primary spherical for salary-cap causes and including future picks down the highway.

That will have occurred this yr, too.

The Knicks might wind up with 4 first-round picks subsequent yr if all goes proper.

They’ve their very own decide and ones belonging to the Mavericks, Wizards and Pistons.

Josh Hart guards Kristaps Porzingis during a game between the Knicks and Wizards.
If Kristaps Porzingis and Co. keep out of the underside 12 of the NBA standings subsequent season, the Knicks will obtain the Wizards’ first-round draft decide in 2024.
NBAE through Getty Photos

The Wizards’ decide has top-12 protections. The Pistons selection is protected within the prime 18.

It’s not out of the query the Knicks wind up three No. 1s, together with the Mavericks’ and the Wizards’ (the Detroit decide looks like a protracted shot). These belongings are very useful.

With extraordinarily restricted cap house, the Knicks must get artistic to enhance their workforce.

Leon Rose greets Jalen Brunson coming off the floor after the Knicks' playoff elimination.
Leon Rose, greeting Jalen Brunson after the Knicks’ playoff ouster, has his work minimize out for him upgrading the roster this offseason.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Submit

It probably must occur through a commerce, which is the place these draft picks will likely be so necessary.

For that motive, dropping out on the Mavericks decide this yr could not assistance on draft night time, however it might assist in placing collectively an improved roster subsequent yr. Over the following seven drafts, the Knicks have the proper to 10 first-round picks.

The extra belongings the higher, and the Knicks have loads of these.

4 postseason factors

Nearly per week after the Knicks season resulted in Miami, just a few lingering ideas on the postseason:

• The reminiscence I’ll take with me into the offseason is an emotional RJ Barrett, on the verge of breaking down, ripping himself to shreds after his ugly Recreation 6 efficiency.

You would inform how a lot it tore him aside to return up empty, the Knicks wing understanding he might have stored their season alive with a greater effort.

It’s one factor I worth above all else with Barrett: He’s real. He doesn’t disguise his feelings.

RJ Barrett speaks to the media after the Knicks were eliminated from the 2023 playoffs.
RJ Barrett seemed depressing after the Knicks’ Recreation 6 loss.
through YouTube/MSG Networks

As The Submit’s Mike Vaccaro wrote in Thursday’s paper, Barrett’s principally sturdy postseason was a major positive for the franchise moving forward. You win with guys like him.

• We’ll by no means know whether or not Immanuel Quickley would have discovered his recreation, contemplating he struggled so mightily within the postseason (9.0 factors on 34.8 p.c taking pictures) previous to his Recreation 3 ankle damage.

However the Knicks weren’t the identical with out him, even that model of Quickley. The Sixth Man of the Yr runner-up’s presence alone with the second unit might have made a distinction in Recreation 6, notably early on after the Knicks constructed a 14-point lead and the backups couldn’t maintain it.

Quickley nonetheless led the Knicks with a plus-5.0 web score within the playoffs, that means they outscored the opposition by 5 factors per 100 possessions when he was on the ground. His 95.0 defensive score was additionally by far one of the best on the workforce.

• The half that bothered me essentially the most about Julius Randle’s postseason had nothing to do with the offensive finish, the place he was held to 16.6 factors on 37.4 p.c taking pictures whereas committing 3.5 turnovers per recreation.

He confronted two elite defenders in Evan Mobley and Bam Adebayo and two elite defensive groups. Typically your shot doesn’t fall. It occurs.

No, what I didn’t like was his uneven effort. In too many video games, the All-NBA third-team ahead was inattentive and lacked concentrate on the defensive finish, jogging as an alternative of sprinting to get again on protection. Tom Thibodeau even benched Randle within the fourth quarter of Recreation 4 towards the Cavaliers. Randle’s motor was inconsistent, at a time when everybody ought to be full throttle.

Julius Randle walks up the court during the Knicks' Game 6 loss to the Heat.
Julius Randle’s motor appeared to run inconsistently through the Knicks’ playoff run.
USA TODAY Sports activities through Reuters Con

The Knicks didn’t do the little issues practically sufficient towards the Warmth, unable to give you the free ball in key spots. Randle was a giant a part of that downside.

• It’s humorous how briskly expectations change. I feel most Knicks followers would have been content material with a first-round loss to the Cavaliers so long as they performed effectively. Say the Knicks misplaced in six video games to the Bucks within the second spherical — no person would have complained.

However as a result of they have been so spectacular towards the Cavaliers and there was a No. 8 next to the Heat’s name, all of the sudden, the Knicks grew to become a workforce that ought to nonetheless be enjoying.

Additionally, if the Knicks had misplaced Recreation 1 to the Cavaliers, a recreation that was a toss-up within the remaining minutes, they could not have gained that sequence. Momentum would have modified.

The identical could be stated in reverse had the Knicks pulled out Recreation 1 towards the Warmth. It’s laborious to beat dropping a sequence opener at dwelling.

Playoff Mitch

Mitchell Robinson’s postseason was a story of two sequence.

He was brilliant in the series victory over the Cavaliers, and was outplayed towards the Warmth. He overwhelmed Jarrett Allen within the first spherical, and was overwhelmed by Adebayo in the following round.

Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is guarded closely by the Heat's Bam Adebayo.
Mitchell Robinson didn’t fare as effectively in his matchup with Bam Adebayo, however stated he relished his first style of postseason basketball.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Submit

What shouldn’t be forgotten is that this was the 7-footer’s introduction to the playoffs. He was injured through the five-game sequence loss to the Hawks two years in the past.

“It was an ideal expertise, making it to the second spherical,” Robinson stated on the night time of the Knicks’ elimination. “It was nice making it like that far, being in my first playoffs actually should you actually give it some thought. It was nice, it felt good being on the market, a unique environment.”

Clearly, Adebayo was a foul matchup for Robinson, who struggled towards the Warmth through the common season in addition to through the playoffs. In three regular-season video games, the Knicks have been outscored by 14.2 factors per 100 possessions with Robinson on the ground.

He wound up averaging 5.2 factors and eight.8 rebounds within the six-game playoff sequence, and carried out higher in the previous couple of video games.

“They made it to the playoffs yearly that I’ve been right here,” Robinson stated of the Warmth. “Simply one thing I’ve acquired to be taught, take a look at the movie and get higher at.”

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