New York Knicks fans have been on a roller coaster of a season rooting for their team. There have been tremendous highs and anxiety-producing lows. Each winning streak seems to be met by a losing streak right after.
But strangely enough, one of the most impactful things to the overall success of the Knicks’ season and future has nothing to do with the Knicks at all. The Dallas Mavericks are in the middle of a slide in the lost column. On Monday, they broke a four-game losing streak with a win against the Indiana Pacers but they have lost seven of their last 10.
Since the Kristaps Porzingis trade, the Knicks’ fate has been intertwined with the Mavericks and that is the case this year more than in years past. The Knicks own the Mavericks’ first-round pick this season, and while many fans expected the pick to be a late first-round pick with little value, the Mavericks’ recent struggles have made that pick much more interesting.
Knicks have a chance to finish season with a lottery pick thanks to the Mavericks
Currently, Dallas’ pick is projected to be No. 11. That is the sweet spot for the Knicks. While some fans might want the pick to be as high as possible, the reality is that the Mavericks’ pick is top 10 protected. That means that if the Mavericks end up with picks 1-10, the Knicks lose the pick and Dallas gets to keep it. However, anything 11 or higher is fair game. That means that the Knicks need the Mavericks to do one thing, not lose every game. But New York also wouldn’t prefer Dallas to go on a perfect winning streak to end the season.
If the Knicks can end a season as successful as this one where they go to the playoffs and potentially make some noise and still get a lottery pick, it would rocket their asset value. The Knicks could package that pick for a team looking to rebuild and unload a star-caliber player. Or they could even keep the pick for themselves. We have seen late lottery picks in the past like Klay Thompson or Donovan Mitchell turn out to be game-changers for franchises.
So while Knicks fans should hope that the Mavericks end up with a pick as high as possible, their pick means nothing if it is in the top 10. With Luka Doncic on the team, there is no guarantee this pick will ever be this low again so this is a prime opportunity for the Knicks to gain greater value out of this pick than they may have ever imagined they would get.
The Knicks already have a bright future ahead of them, but a pick like this could be a game-changer.