Phil Jackson confident in Knicks' NBA Draft preparation: 'We're good at what we do'
The ping pong balls in Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery bounced favorably for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, as they secured the top two picks, respectively, in June’s draft. But that wasn’t the case for the New York Knicks.
New York had the best odds of landing the seventh overall pick, but instead came away with the No. 8 pick, sliding down a spot from their projected position.
Knicks president Phil Jackson realized the outcome could’ve been better, but also noted No. 8 isn’t the worst place the team could’ve landed.
“Our opportunity (at) seven could have been 10, so eight we’ll live with,” Jackson told ESPN’s Ian Begley. “I think that we’re good at what we do.”
Jackson has been under scrutiny for his roster construction and talent evaluation, among other things, since taking over as president in New York. But while draft position in the lottery is simply out of his control, his throw-in comment about being good at what they do is an interesting one.
Under Jackson, the Knicks have drafted just one player who could reasonably be part of a title-contending core: Kristaps Porzingis. And even the Latvian star is now reportedly at odds with Jackson’s regime, in part because of his handling of the Carmelo Anthony situation.
This draft will be the third under Jackson, who needs as much help as possible to go alongside Porzingis as the Knicks build for the future. But if Jackson is as good as he claims, the Knicks could find good value picking where they landed given that this figures to be one of the deepest drafts in recent history.
Talent at point guard is an area the Knicks might consider upgrading, so players like Dennis Smith, Jr. and Frank Ntilikina could potentially be in play when the Knicks are on the clock.
Time will tell if Jackson and the Knicks are actually good at what they do.