What If… With the 4th Pick The Knicks Draft: Frank Kaminsky

With the order of the draft being settled, the writers of KnickerBlogger thought we’d go over the possible outcomes. But since we were whipping out the ol’ Crystal Ball, we decided to go a little past June & see what fate possibly has to offer…

2015 Draft Order
1 MIN Karl-Anthony Towns
2 LAL Jahlil Okafor
3 PHI Willie Cauley-Stein
4 NYK Frank Kaminsky


What happened on Draft Day 2015

With the 4th pick in the draft, and three big men off the board, New York went with the trend and selected the 6-11 Frank Kaminsky. The fans were stunned at the turn of events, and when the selection was announced, they booed heartily. The hometown crowd even began chanting “Fi-re Jack-son!” during the draft telecast. In the coming days, Jackson gave numerous explanations for the selection: “Kaminsky was the best player available”, “New York needed a big man”, “the point guards available were inexperienced and didn’t fit the triangle”, “Frank the Tank would be a great locker room presence”, “he could play the 4 or 5”, “Kaminsky had a complete overall offensive game”, etc.

Fans weren’t pleased with Kaminsky’ low ceiling, mediocre athleticism, and questionable defense. With a less valuable pick they might have appreciated the Badger, but with the 4th overall pick the Knicks faithful wanted a sure-fire future All Star. To make matters worse, after New York’s pick the Celtics made a trade, giving up the 18th pick this year and a first rounder next year to the Orlando Magic in exchange for the 5th overall pick. Boston was high on D’Angelo Russell, was shocked to see him fall that far, and happily gave away more assets to acquire him.

What will be written on draft day in 2018

Although the New York Knicks just missed out on the 1st overall pick, they should have plenty of options available to them with the 3rd pick. This situation is similar to what happened in 2015, when the Knicks landed the 4th pick in the draft lottery. Since this might be the last draft the NBA has, and so much has changed since that time, let’s recap.

After the Knicks landed Kaminsky, the team became the butt of jokes across the nation. Before the season even started, late night comedians were yucking up New York’s poor judgement. The laughs had just about died down, when Hilary Clinton joked about the matter in what she thought was a private luncheon. While talking with an aide, she mentioned that “the Knicks are really dumb for taking that Pollock” and quipped “maybe he shoots a Ski-Hook? Get it?”. Unfortunately she was being video recorded by a local family, and the press got their hands on the file.

Although she tried her best to reverse the damage, the scandal grew exponentially and Hillary couldn’t recover. On the other hand, Scott Walker used the incident to his advantage. The Wisconsin Governor gained national prominence defending Kaminsky and attacking Clinton for her racist and snobbish views. Walker crushed the rest of the GOP field in the primaries, and defeated a then shell-shocked Clinton in the national election.

As for Kaminsky and the Knicks, Frank developed into a good scorer and a healthy rebounder. The forward-center wasn’t a great help defender, but overall his contribution on that end of the court was positive given his solid one on one play and defense on the perimeter, including the pick & roll. Unfortunately many of Kaminsky and Melo’s talents overlapped which didn’t give the team much of a bonus. Additionally, Jackson opted to spend bo-ku bucks on Monta Ellis, a move which also failed to address their weaknesses. For a year or two the Knicks were entertaining on offense, but a train wreck on defense. There was that Christmas Day Game in 2016 where the three each scored more 35 points, yet the team suffered a 151-143 OT loss. Of course in Boston, Celtics fans will remember the game as the one D’Angelo Russell dropped 39 points and 28 assists on the Knicks.

Last year injuries to ‘Melo and the lack of depth sent the team into a downward spiral from which they were unable to recover. Hopefully the team can get a top level talent in the draft to team with Kaminsky, and then use the cap space they’ll have from the eventual departure of ‘Melo to grab another All Star.

Off the court, President Walker replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Fred Thompson, because he was “a big fan of Law & Order.” In early 2018, Walker was able to make all unions illegal, which meant the NBA union was forced to disband. Team owners have been talking of doing away with the current system of free agency, guaranteed contracts, and drafts, although it is unknown at this time what they’d replace it with.

In any case with the third pick, the Knicks have a lot of options, much like how I now have to chose how to use my government vouchers. I could send my kids to school and fix the broken street light at my corner, or do I save my Walker Bucks in case the police or firemen need to come to my house? Similarly the Knicks could opt for a point guard, an athletic forward, or one of the centers available …


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