The NY Knicks are hoping to get the top pick in the draft lottery this year and after finishing with the second worst record in the NBA, players like Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D'Angelo Russell, Justise Winslow and Willie Cauley Stein could be potential targets and this comes as Phi Jackson likely will chase free agents like Greg Monroe and Goran Dragic this offseason.
The Knicks aimed to finish near the bottom of the NBA this season and now they are getting set up for the lottery with the playoffs still going on. According to Ian Begley at ESPN New York, Russell, Winslow and Cauley Stein will be working out at the NBA combine, while Okafor and Towns likely will not. The Knicks are interested in all of those players, with Winslow and Towns looking like the favorites for Jackson according to Frank Isola.
The draft had Okafor as the presumptive overall number one pick when the season started and after the NCAA tournament, Towns put himself in the mix. The Knicks have a 20 percent chance to win the first overall pick and they have a 55 percent chance at getting a top three overall pick. The team has a 38 percent chance to get a top two pick and Jackson is hoping it will be the top pick. While Knicks fans were disappointed at not finishing with the worst record in the league, the team that has done that has not won the lottery in years.
The Knicks are also planning on chasing free agents this summer and names like Rajon Rondo, Goran Dragic, Reggie Jackson, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe could be targets. According to Pro Basketball Talk, Monroe is going to be a main target for Phil Jackson and Frank Isola wrote at the Daily News that Monroe coming to New York is "about as close to a done deal as you can get". Monroe is an unrestricted free agent and while he has not ruled out a return to the Pistons, signing back with Detroit is unlikely.
Monroe is one of the top free agents hitting the market and he likely will be a target for the Knicks after averaging a career best 16.1 points and 10.5 rebounds last season. According to the Sporting News, the Knicks are going to chase the "younger tier" of free agents over players like Rondo, Dragic or Aldridge. The team still will look at those players, but Sean Deveney writes that the team will pursue Monroe, Reggie Jackson and Brandon Knight on the market.
The Knicks feel they have a chance to compete even next year with the east a weak conference compared to the west and that is why they want to hit with their draft pick. Towns is looking like he will be the first overall pick, but the Knicks hope that he is an option for them. The team is in line to get the second pick, but with the top team not getting the lottery pick at one in years, they have a chance. This draft is crucial for Jackson and there is a chance that the team could trade the pick if it falls out of the top four.