Phil Jackson knows who he’d draft No. 1, calls high pick a ‘godsend’

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said on Thursday in a presentation for season-ticket holders that this awful season could be “godsend” because of the draft pick the team will get. That is total spin because he initially said he thought this year’s Knicks could make the playoffs, and at 14-61 they’re the worst team in the league. It’s also true — this result is much better than mediocrity would’ve been.

From the New York Post:

When asked if he knows whom he would draft with the top pick, should the Knicks win the draft lottery, Jackson said, “I do.”

During a 45-minute presentation to season-ticket holders at the Garden’s Theatre, Jackson also was asked what he cherished more in a big man — the ability to pass and score or be a dominant defender.

“Defender,” Jackson said to applause, adding to the irony of his trade of Chandler last offseason. “That’s a good starting point — a guy like Tyson Chandler and the defensive passion they have to have. So many screen and rolls, so many 3-point shooters, a player of size has to cover and protect the basket but also step out defensively and do defensive work on the extreme part of the floor. It’s very important for that player to have defensive capabilities.”

“This is our opportunity, and it may be a godsend,” Jackson said.

“I can make the argument we had to go through it. S–t happens and this season it did happen to us.”

The thing that jumps out here is his answer about defense. Unless you have paid absolutely zero attention to the NCAA Tournament and draft coverage, you’re aware that Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns are considered the top two prospects. Okafor is the more polished post player, while Towns is more disruptive defender. You might have thought that a traditionalist like Jackson would prefer Okafor, but this hints that Towns is at the top of his board.

The Okafor-Towns question is particularly interesting in New York because there has been a belief that Jackson won’t be patient with the rebuilding process. Two reasons:

1) This franchise is never patient.

2) Carmelo Anthony remains on the roster and will be 31 years old next month.

It’s debatable that Okafor is actually more NBA-ready, but that’s the narrative, much like with Jabari Parker and the “raw” Andrew Wiggins this time last year. In any case, this was another reason why the Knicks would theoretically favor the Duke big man. Perhaps things really will be different with Jackson in charge.

Written by Nick Endress

Nick Endress

Nick the Quick Endress is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?