Phil Jackson Says Knicks Are Good at What They Do, Confident in No. 8 Draft Pick

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2017

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson answers questions during a news conference at the team's training facility, Friday, April 14, 2017, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson didn't seem too concerned his team landed the No. 8 pick in Tuesday's draft lottery.

"Our opportunity (at) seven could have been 10, so eight we'll live with," Jackson said, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. "I think that we're good at what we do."

Begley noted the Knicks entered the event with the seventh-best position in the lottery and a 57.2 percent chance at the No. 7 pick. Instead, they saw their 22.6 percent chances at No. 8 come to fruition.

Begley also pointed out the Knicks moved from the fourth-worst record in the NBA into a tie for the sixth-worst (and proceeded to lose a tiebreaker with the Minnesota Timberwolves) by going a solid 4-5 in their last nine games. A worse showing on the court down the stretch could have led to a brighter future after Tuesday's lottery.

According to Begley, Jackson stressed the need to add a guard or wing player.

Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Dennis Smith Jr. can all be classified as either guards or wing players and were included in the top eight picks of the latest DraftExpress mock. There also are other options such as Frank Ntilikina, who may be more readily available at No. 8.

Regardless of what position the Knicks fill with the pick, this is an important offseason for a team that has missed the playoffs four straight years. Landing an instant playmaker at No. 8 would make the rebuilding process much smoother.