It was another Bomboclaat evening for Knicks fans — seemingly — as high hopes evaporated when the Knicks landed the 8th pick in the 2020 NBA draft, falling 2 slots back from where one would have expected them to draft after having finished with the 6th worst record. NY entered the night with a 33% chance of finishing in the top 3 and possibly drafting elite players like LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards.
As pointed out by WFAN’s John Schmeelk, the Knicks “have not moved up in any lottery since 1985. Six of the 11 times they have been in the lottery since then they have moved down in the draft. The other five they stayed in the same spot. Zero luck.”
Bomboclaat is a Jamaican term whose meaning is literally “Under pad” — referring to a woman’s hygiene product but used to express shock at a bad situation. The word has taken on a new meaning on Twitter in the last year — meaning “Caption This.” The caption for Knicks fans this morning is Bomboclaat, the original meaning.
Knicks Selection Was In Line with their Probability
But there were no real surprises here, as the 8th pick was the 2nd most probable pick that the Knicks were to get — they had a 20.6 % chance of landing it — based on NBA draft lottery probabilities which are warped to discourage teams from tanking.
- 9.0 % shot at #1 pick,
- 9.2 % shot at #2 pick,
- 9.4 % shot at #3 pick,
- 9.6 % shot at #4 pick.
- No shot at #5 pick.
- 8.6% shot at #6 pick, even though they finished 6th worst.
- 29.8% chance they’d fall to #7 pick.
- 20.6 % chance they’d fall to # 8 pick which they did.
- 3.7 % chance they’d fall to #9 pick.
- 0.1 % chance they’d fall to #10 pick.
- Overall an over 50 % chance they’d drop back to #7 to #10 pick
So there were no surprises here. What was surprising was how so many Knicks fans were shocked at the results; seemingly either extremely optimistic people or perhaps not aware of the odds.
Many afterwards on Twitter expressed surprise that the Minnesota Timberwolves got the #1 pick, over Golden State which had so thoroughly tanked their season. If you didn’t look at the standings, you’d think Minnesota just missed the playoffs and got a huge win by vaulting to the #1 pick. But Minnesota finished with the 3rd worst record at 19-45, to Golden State’s 15-50.
Besides Minnesota leaping from 3rd to 1st (not such a big leap):
- Charlotte was the big winner; they finished with the 9th worst record, and nabbed the 3rd pick.
- Chicago also had a great day — they finished 7th worst (had a better record than the Knicks) and vaulted to get the 4th pick.
- Phoenix finished 14th worst (just missed the playoffs) but nabbed the 10th pick.
- San Antonio finished 12th worst and got the 11th pick.
Teams that Joined the Knicks in Dropping Back
The Knicks were not alone in dropping back a pick or two:
- Golden State finished worst, but dropped back to get the 2nd pick.
- Cleveland finished 2nd worst, but fell back to select 5th. If that happened to the Knicks there would be virtual suicides.
- Atlanta finished 4th worst but got the 6th pick.
- Detroit finished 5th worst but got the 7th pick.
- Washington finished 8th worst but got the 9th pick.
- New Orleans finished 10th worst but got the 13th pick.
- Sacramento finished 11th worst but got the 12th pick.
May Not Be a Big Deal — this Draft is All Over the Place
In recent years the NBA draft has become more unreliable than ever, as top stars are now playing 1 year of college ball. Teams are picking guys at age 19, before they have developed and you know how good they’ll be. Compare that to the days when Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, or Patrick Ewing played 3 or 4 years of college ball. Then throw in the drafting of European players into the mix, who have gotten better and better and are now some of the best players in the world.
Because of all that, in recent years teams have gotten superstars in the middle of the 1st round or later. See NY Knicks drafting Mitchell Robinson, who was one of the best big men in the nation coming out of high school, but Knicks were able to nab in the 2nd round because he dropped out of the college he didn’t like and instead of playing somewhere else for year 2, he simply sat out and waited for the draft.
This year, with Coronavirus knocking out the NCAA playoffs, the Draft is going to be all over the place — teams do not have a good set of information on which to judge players on.
As Alan Hahn of ESPN Radio and MSG and put it, “The #Knicks fell two spots to 8. They have never moved up in the draft lottery in the approximately 15,000 times they’ve been in the lottery. With that being said, I with the experts calling this the worst graded draft in 20 years, it would have been a bigger joke if the #Knicks actually did win this time.”
Who Might the Knicks draft?
The NBA draft is now scheduled for Friday night, October 16, 2020. Some mock drafts now have James Wiseman going #7 — he was the top big man in college at beginning of year. Mock drafts have Cole Anthony going #15 — wow has he fallen — Greg Anthony‘s son was considered one of the best players in the nation and a top-3 to 5 pick at the start of the 2019-20 college year.
At this writing:
- NBADraft.net’s mock draft has the Knicks picking Tyrese Haliburton, a point guard out of Iowa State.
- SBNation’s mock draft has the Knicks picking Devin Vassell, a 6’6 forward out of Florida State; a 2-way player and shooter.
- CBS Sports’ mock draft currently has Knicks picking point guard Killian Hayes — 6’5 point guard born in the US but raised in France and playing in Germany. According to CBS, “ball IQ and reputation of somebody who just really knows how to play.” Frank Ntilikina anyone?
- NBC Sports’ mock draft has the Knicks picking Deni Avdija a small forward out of Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
So in other words — nobody has a clue.
As John Schmeelk of WFAN added, “Picking 8th, Walt Perrin and the Knicks scouting staff/front office is going to earn their money. So many potential options there including trading up/down. Who knows who will even be available.”
Marc Berman of the NY Post— in the best post-lottery article we’ve seen — wrote, “It’s considered a weak draft with no consensus top three, though it’s heavy in point guards beyond Ball. Cole Anthony, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes, Tyrese Maxey and Kira Lewis are among the top lead guards who could be available at No. 8.”
Knicks Also Have 1st Round Pick #27 Overall
The Knicks have another 1st round pick — #27 overall from the LA Clippers in the deal for Marcus Morris midway thru last season.
The Knicks traded their 2nd round pick to Philly (#36 overall) but have Charlotte’s 2nd round pick (#38) acquired via trade.
Picks as high as #27 and #38 used to be a Hail Mary picks but again, these days, teams have landed superstars at picks higher than that. For example Mitch Robinson again, who the Knicks picked 36th overall.