If Phil Jackson was never fired: 2018 NBA Draft
Knicks select Luka Doncic with the 1st pick
Wow, maybe Phil Jackson had a plan when he wanted to throw away the 2017-18 season by trading Kristaps Porzingis and buying out Carmelo Anthony. On paper, the Knicks need a big man, and Deandre Ayton looks like the next David Robinson. He is a physical brute, and the Knicks lack frontcourt talent outside of Willy Hernangomez, who is a weak defender. The Knicks also selected guard Frank Ntilikina in last year’s draft.
However, Phil Jackson is aware of how unique of a talent Luka Doncic is. Clarence Gaines, Phil Jackson’s international scout, had a significant say in the organization’s draft picks during the Jackson regime. He was instrumental in the Knicks selecting Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina, proving that Phil Jackson trusts his word.
Anyone who had spent extensive time scouting Luka Doncic knew how special he was. European scouts hailed him as the greatest European prospect of all time, and Gaines, who spent a lot of time around European basketball, would have come to that conclusion about Doncic as well. His fit in the triangle as a lights-out shooter and passing maestro, and head coach Ettore Messina is very high on Doncic. The stars have aligned for Phil Jackson, who has found his franchise player who will make the triangle work for the Knicks after all.
Knicks select Jarred Vanderbilt with the 31st pick
After being the story of the first round by selecting Luka Doncic over Deandre Ayton, the Knicks have the 1st pick in the second round. With the roster looking guard-heavy, Phil Jackson chooses Kentucky PF Jarred Vanderbilt. Once regarded as a lottery prospect, Vanderbilt slipped to the second round because of various injuries.
Phil sees Vanderbilt as an incredible value pick at 31. He is an ideal fit in the triangle offense for his ability to pass the ball off the low-block and key. Vanderbilt’s best strengths in high school were his ability to make plays in space and transition. He is a crafty finisher and an excellent rebounder for his size. Phil sees many Lamar Odom qualities in Vanderbilt’s game and is ecstatic to take him in the second round.