In it to win it

That’s what the Knicks *won’t* be when the NBA holds its draft lottery tonight at 8 pm, to determine the order of the teams that control the first fourteen picks in the NBA’s June draft. In 2013, the Knicks made arguably their worst trade in franchise history – which is saying alot! – when they traded two future first round draft picks to the Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani, the No. 1 overall pick out of Italy in 2006 is, without question, one of the five worst players in the NBA in the decade he’s been in the league, among those who’ve gotten real playing time. His only “skill” is his willingness to hoist fairly low-percentage, though at least not embarrassing-looking jump shots. But he’s bad at everything else, particularly rebounding, an especially notable deficiency for a 7-footer.

The other New York team, the Brooklyn Nets, also don’t have a first round pick this year, having traded all such picks to the Celtics for the next half a century in 2013 for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Look, that was a bad trade, but there was at least a rationale for it. Even if you knew that the Nets were not going to appreciably improve their slim chances of winning a a title by acquiring two once-great but aging veterans. And the Nets have, since that trade, hit rock bottom. But one could, at a minimum, argue that Pierce and Garnett would bring fans to the arena and provide the franchise with some cache, even if short-lived, as it established itself in the city.

You could not possibly make the same argument about Bargs, who has exactly zero extra impact on attendance, unless he has a large extended family, or unless an enterprising film crew shows up to tape bloopers.

Though plenty of scribes criticized the Knicks for this deal, almost none did it vehemently enough, because the metrics normally bandied about in polite society don’t capture the full depths of the atrocity that is Bargs the ballplayer. In other words, this deal was even more unconscionable than is generally recognized.

Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest before the lottery. Oh, by the way, the Knicks don’t have a second round pick, either. Which may or may not matter, as Phil’s second round track record in two seasons so far is, um, not good.




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