If Phil Jackson was never fired: 2017 NBA DRAFT
Knicks select Josh Jackson with the 3rd pick
Following our alternate universe where the Knicks secure the third overall pick from the Porzingis trade, the Knicks select Josh Jackson. As much as I wanted to justify Jayson Tatum here, Phil Jackson was a big fan of the Kansas forward. In fact, Jackson was one of the reasons Phil even entertained a Porzingis trade in the first place. Although De’Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum are on the board, Jackson is widely regarded as the third-best player in the draft, and the consensus pick at number three.
Phil Jackson is thrilled to have two versatile two-way wings in Jaylen Brown and Josh Jackson. Brown-Jackson is his rendition of Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen. I’m sorry that went way too far. Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest? Ok, I’ll stop.
Knicks select Frank Ntilikina with the 8th pick
Phil Jackson is cursing his former player John Paxson, now the GM of the Bulls, for trading Jimmy Butler to Minnesota and acquiring the 7th pick in the draft. Jackson had his eyes set on selecting Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen to replace Porzingis, but the Bulls take him with the 7th pick they acquired from good ole Tom Thibodeau.
Phil is enraged, and he takes Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick, given his fit in the triangle offense and his tantalizing potential on defense. Phil Jackson forgets that the NBA has evolved from the 1990’s style of play but is sold on a trio of Frank Ntilikina-Jaylen Brown-Josh Jackson, three versatile defenders who cannot shoot much.
Knicks select Damyean Dotson with the 44th pick
Although scarce on young big men, Phil does not select a big as the options at 44 are not great. Instead he chooses Damyean Dotson in the second round, realizing that his draft lacks any shooting whatsoever. Dotson and Dillion Brooks (pick 45) had identical shooting splits in college, so we assume the Knicks stick with Dotson over Brooks.
Knicks select Jaron Blossomgame with the 58th pick
New York finally goes with a big man, selecting Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame with the 58th pick. His explosive athleticism, toughness, and defensive potential intrigue Jackson, who recognizes that the team lacks athleticism in the frontcourt. Jaron will likely spend most of his time down in Westchester, but he may have a future with the right development.