New York Knicks: Ranking every NBA Draft Lottery pick

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Patrick Ewing (1985)

The inevitable, Patrick Ewing holds his own as the top lottery pick in New York Knicks history. As if anyone else held a candle to his position.

Ewing-to-the-Knicks resulted from the first-ever lottery. New York won it in 1985 and made this Georgetown star their own. It’s safe to say that worked out positively, with the success ahead that transformed this franchise into a top team in the Eastern Conference.

Ewing delivered upon arrival, averaging 20 points, nine rebounds and 2.1 blocks and made the 1986 NBA All-Star Game. This was on a 23-win team, but the impact was noticeable enough and it only ascended from there.

By 1989-90, Ewing averaged 28.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on a good Knicks team that only improved throughout the ’90s. That included two NBA Finals appearances (1994, 1999), and while neither resulted in a championship, he still had the chance few others received.

Along with 11 total All-Star Game appearances, the 1985-86 Rookie of the Year award, a spot on the All-NBA First Team in 1989-90 and eventual placement in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, Ewing’s career cannot be rivaled by any other Knick, lottery pick or not.

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In Ewing’s class, however, he stood against Karl Malone, Chris Mullin and Joe Dumars, all of whom were elite talents. Malone usually places higher among the all-time greats, but that does not diminish what Ewing did for New York basketball and as one of the best big men ever.