The No. 1 overall pick would certainly have been nice, though there's no guarantee New York would have ever actually used it in the draft.
Before the lottery, there was plenty of speculation that the Knicks would have simply used the No. 1 pick as a trade chip to help acquire New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
"I think if they win it, they flip it for Anthony Davis, almost immediately, if they know Durant and Kyrie are coming and they can figure out how to fit all three," The Ringer's Bill Simmons said on his podcast.
Ironically, it was New Orleans that landed the first overall pick in the draft—and likely the rights to former Duke star Zion Williamson.
So, where do the Knicks go from here? Well, for starters, a trade for Davis is reportedly still in the team's offseason plans.
"The Post has reported since last season's trade deadline passed that the Knicks would be willing to move their lottery pick for Davis," Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote. "The Post has also reported their 2021 and 2023 first-round picks obtained from Dallas would also have to be placed into any Davis package."
The third pick in the draft would make for an enticing piece in a potential Davis deal. With Williamson almost certain to go first, that pick could turn into his former teammate RJ Barrett or Murray State phenom Ja Morant.
With the Memphis Grizzlies—who own the second pick—likely to target Morant—that third pick would likely become Duke's Barrett.
Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress
Source: Barring the unexpected, Memphis Grizzlies front office and ownership appear to have locked in on selecting Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and are informing parties in Chicago of such. That clears the way for R.J. Barrett to fall to the Knicks at #3.
That would leave the potential for the Pelicans to reunite Williamson and Barrett in New Orleans. This would mean Davis is out, but the Pelicans would have an exciting young core consisting of the two former Blue Devils, Jrue Holiday and possibly another Knicks youngster like Kevin Knox.
This means that New York may have the most enticing package out there to offer New Orleans. The Los Angeles Lakers are likely to make a push, as are the Boston Celtics. However, the Pelicans do not appear keen on dealing Davis to a division rival—they declined a Lakers deal before the trade deadline—and the Celtics don't have a high draft pick to offer.
While Boston does own the Sacramento Kings' 2019 first-rounder, that pick became the 14th overall selection in the lottery. In a draft class that is considered weak outside of the top few players, that won't be worth much to the Pelicans.
The question is whether New York would be willing to pass on the potential of a guy like Barrett in order to acquire Davis. According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, Davis would be open to re-signing in New York, however, that is no guarantee.
The Knicks have a tough decision on their hands, but at least it's one that has several potentially positive outcomes.