New York originally sent its 2014 first-round pick to the Denver Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony trade. Denver then traded the lesser of its two first-round picks -- its pick and the Knicks’ pick -- to the Orlando Magic.
That’s how Orlando ended up with the 12th pick in the draft. The Magic have the 12th and fourth picks in the 2014 first round.
So Magic senior vice president Pat Williams left Manhattan as a happy man on Tuesday night.
“Who would have thought the Knicks would be picking 12th?” Williams said. “At the time, I think you were thinking that the Knicks would be in the mid-20s somewhere and that the pick wouldn’t be that valuable. As it turns out, in a very deep draft, the 12th pick is going to produce an NBA-quality young player.”
A player the Knicks could have had.
Instead, New York will contemplate buying a second-round pick, scour free agency and gauge the trade market to improve the roster.
The next question to ask here is: Which player will the Knicks miss out on?
As we noted earlier Tuesday afternoon, ESPN has put together a Lottery Mock Draft machine courtesy of Chad Ford, its NBA Draft Insider, to help answer that question.
In five permutations after the lottery order was announced, the Lottery machine predicted that Orlando would select Nik Stauskas, Dario Saric and Doug McDermott with the 12th pick.
Of course, it’s impossible to predict whether the 12th pick in the draft will be an impact player. But the Knicks certainly don’t have history on their side. They have traded away a handful of first-round picks in recent years that have yielded quality players.
The Knicks sent their 2002 first-round pick to Denver in the Antonio McDyess trade. Denver turned that pick into Nene, one of the top big men in this year’s playoffs.
The Knicks’ 2006 pick went to the Bulls, who selected LaMarcus Aldridge with the second overall pick. The next season, the Knicks sent their pick to Chicago in a swap. The Bulls drafted New York City native Joakim Noah. The Knicks took Wilson Chandler at No. 23.