Knicks’ dreams shattered; fall to No. 3 in lottery

The Knicks won't get a shot at Zion Williamson (1), but could be in line to pick R.J. Barrett (5).

Patrick Ewing hit the jackpot for the New York Knicks, who won the 1985 NBA draft lottery and used the No. 1 overall pick to select the Georgetown center.

The big man could not return the favor to the franchise that drafted him, however, as the Knicks — the NBA’s worst team this season and who finished 17-65 — on Tuesday night in Chicago.

With Ewing representing the team, New York dropped to No. 3 in the lottery and will pick third in the NBA Draft on June 20, missing the opportunity to select consensus projected No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson out of Duke. Ja Morant is the projected No. 2 overall pick, owned by the Memphis Grizzlies after the lottery, with Williamson’s Duke teammate, R.J. Barrett, likely to be looked at by the Knicks closely, as soon as Wednesday in Chicago, in fact.

“I was still hoping that we were going to get the No. 1 pick, but three’s very good. I think,” Ewing said. “I’m proud and whoever we draft I know they’re going to be happy and proud to be a New York Knick.”

For their part, the Knicks’ braintrust did not express disappointment after the results of the lottery were announced.

“We are excited to have the third pick and are confident we will be able to add a great player to our talented young core and the team that we are building,” Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry said in a statement.

Asked what words of wisdom he would give the Knicks’ first-round pick, Ewing said, “Go out and play your heart out, the city is ready to embrace you.”