New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Mock Draft, Sweet 16 edition

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Duke Zion Williamson(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Where do the New York Knicks stand in the latest 2019 NBA Mock Draft, with the Sweet 16 in the Men’s NCAA Tournament ahead?

The New York Knicks have encountered a difficult road in the 2018-19 season, but the path will eventually lead to the 2019 NBA Draft. They project for a high pick, given their 60-loss mark and no sign of improvement, before this campaign ends.

Much will happen before the draft, including the rest of the 2019 Men’s NCAA Tournament. The second round completed on Sunday, March 24, and the anticipated Sweet 16 kicks off on Thursday, March 28, with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line.

As the tournament deepens, so do opportunities for potential draftees to showcase their skills for prospective NBA teams. That goes for the talents at Duke, Gonzaga, North Carolina and other powerhouses.

So, as of the Sweet 16, where does everything stand in this latest mock draft?

1. player. 27. . F. Duke. Zion Williamson

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-6, 285 pounds
Slash Line: .684/.333/.650
Season Averages: 22.5 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.1 SPG, 1.7 PG, 0.7 3PM

Yes, as of March 26, the New York Knicks sit first in the draft lottery. They own the same 14-percent odds as the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers, but can only fall as low as fifth in the final order.

That means, for now, the Knicks can attain Zion Williamson. Of course, the ping pong balls must trend their way in May, but the dream can feel temporarily feel like a reality.

There is little question of what Williamson can do on the basketball court, aside from consistently hitting outside shots. He’s a physical force at both ends of the court, with the potential to become elite at both ends; maybe that happens immediately upon arrival to the NBA.

Williamson will drive up prices, sell tickets and create intrigue in New York City, without question. That’s separate from what he can actually do on the court for the lowly Knicks, who need any positive sign in one of their worst seasons in franchise history.

Williamson slots wherever the Knicks need him to. Anyone can be pushed around, even Kevin Knox, who’s outside shooting pushes him to the small forward role instead of the stretch four, which he struggled with at times.

The odds are still against the New York Knicks taking Williamson, since they have a 47 percent chance to land the fifth pick. That is not a disaster scenario, as this class has talent beyond Duke’s superstar, but he is the prize of this group who everyone will want.