Knicks favored to get first pick in 2020 NBA Draft

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Ryan Murphy

November 28th, 2019

Knicks fans have reason to feel something they haven’t felt in a very long timehope.

The odsdsmakers at BetAmerica have given New York the shortest odds to receive the first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft at +600. The Knicks are trailed closely by the Golden State Warriors at +650, and the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers at +700 each.

Odds to win the first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft

Team2020 NBA Draft Odds
New York Knicks
Golden State Warriors
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Washington Wizards
Memphis Grizzlies
Charlotte Hornets
New York’s rapidly improving odds have been the one upside to the team’s disastrous start. The Knicks currently find themselves in the Eastern Conference cellar, with a 4-13 record and the fourth-worst point differential in the NBA.

The Knicks have been haunted by offseason failures

The Knicks struggles are the result of a disastrous offseason, which saw them whiff on franchise-altering free agents like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant (both signed with the Brooklyn Nets). The front office further complicated matters when it threw outrageous sums of money at second-rate players. Julius Randle was given a three-year, $63 million deal, Bobby Portis signed a two-year, $31 million contract and Taj Gibson stole $20 million from the Knicks in broad daylight. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s $114 million on three players who play the same position.
The Knicks’ offseason haul was such a crushing disappointment that team president Steve Mills felt compelled to release a statement apologizing to fans.

“While we understand that some Knicks fans could be disappointed with tonight’s news, we continue to be upbeat and confident in our plans to rebuild the Knicks to compete for championships in the future, through both the draft and targeted free agents,” Mills wrote.

New York has had success in the draft

The last time the Knicks had the first overall pick in the NBA Draft was way back in 1995, when the team selected Patrick Ewing from Georgetown. The bruising center made 11 All-Star Game appearances and led the franchise to 13 consecutive playoff trips. New York's recent draft history has been spottier, but the Knicks did find a gem in Kristaps Porzingis in 2015, and they appear to have a keeper in current rookie RJ Barrett. The Maple Mamba is averaging 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game and has already scored 20 points or more five times.

Knicks need a lot of losses and a little luck

New York is not assured the first pick if it finishes the season with the worst record in the league. According to the NBA’s new format, the three teams with the worst regular-season records each have a 14% chance of winning the draft lottery. The odds for the remaining 13 participating teams are reduced incrementally from 12.5% to 0.5%.

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Tuesday, May 19.

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