The New York Knicks Biggest Mistake in the Past Ten Years

Mistakes happen. We sleep in a little too late or we forget to do a project. But for us, mistakes are simply, just that- mistakes. For the thirty NBA teams, mistakes cost them, potentially tens of millions of dollars, a playoff appearance, or even a championship. They have been riddled throughout history. It can be draft picks (Blazers fans know what this is like), it can be free agency (can I get an amen from Knicks fans?), or it can be virtually anything else (in the case of the Kings, EVERYTHING ELSE). Thus, we present the worst mistakes from each NBA team over the past ten years.

New York Knicks Biggest Mistake in the Last Ten Years

The New York Knicks and mistakes have gone hand in hand for most of the 21st century. Luckily for this exercise, we are only looking at the last ten years. Even in that short period of time New York has provided numerous options from which to choose. After careful consideration, the Knicks biggest mistake in the last ten years was drafting Jordan Hill with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Drafting Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill was a 6’10 junior out of the University of Arizona. He could play both the power forward and center positions. He played in 24 games in his first season for the Knicks, averaging 4.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.4 blocks per game as a rookie. Hill didn’t last long in a Knicks uniform, as he was dealt to the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline of his rookie year. Hill was one of the main pieces the Knicks gave up to acquire Tracy McGrady. (That was another transaction that was considered for this article.) Hill has been a serviceable big man throughout his career. New York could have obtained a more productive player with this pick though. Hill has played for four teams and has zero All-Star appearances.

Look back at the guards that have played for New York over the last ten years. Outside of Jason Kidd, they have been lacking production at that position. Let’s take a look at some of the players the Knicks could have drafted.

Missed Opportunities

The next two players selected would have been a welcomed improvement to the Knicks backcourt over the past seven seasons. DeMar DeRozan was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth pick in the draft, right after the Knicks selected Hill. DeRozan is a two time All-Star who has a career scoring average of 18.1 points per game. He has not averaged less then 20 points per game in a season since the 2012-13 season. Brandon Jennings was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the tenth pick. Jennings has career averages of 15.5 points and 5.9 assists per game. He is a volume scorer who has the ability to score 50 points on any given night, and he is ironically now a member of the Knicks after signing with them this off-season.

Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, and Jeff Teague were point guards also taken in the 2009 Draft. They were selected with the 17th, 18th and 19th picks respectively. Holiday is a former All-Star who has averaged 14.1 points and 6.1 assists per game over his career. Lawson has averaged 13.1 points and 6.2 assists per game over his career. He has finished third in the league in assists per game twice. Teague is a former All-Star who has made it to the playoffs in each of his seven seasons in the league.

Conclusion

Fans will argue that this is not the Knicks biggest mistake in the last ten years. Trading draft picks for Andrea Bargnani is definitely high on the list. So is signing Amar’e Stoudemire with bad knees to a five-year, $100 million contract. There is one reason that the Hill selection is at the top of the list. Striking out on a lottery pick, especially when you pass on the type of players that they did, can set a franchise back for years to come. The Knicks have not drafted a productive point guard or shooting guard since the 1990’s. The 2009 Draft was their chance to do just that, and they missed a golden opportunity.

 

 

Main Photo

Apr 16, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill (27) dunks the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports