Since the end of the playoff run, Throwback Thursday has been highlighting some of the more mind-boggling draft night moves by New York Knicks management. This week, we’re here to remind you who was rocking number seven long before Melo even thought about coming to New York – and no we’re not talking about Al Harrington.
Isiah Thomas saved his you-know-what by snagging David Lee with the 30th pick and trading for Nate Robinson on the night of the 2005 NBA Draft, but he still managed to blow the highest of their three picks.
The 2005 draft class was a strong point guard draft highlighted by Deron Williams and Chris Paul. Thanks to the Knicks propensity in those days to be bad, but never bad enough to get a top pick (unless they traded it for Eddy Curry of course), they were stuck with the eighth pick. With 7-foot local Andrew Bynum there for the taking, Thomas instead went the total opposite direction, taking Channing Frye, a scrawny power forward with a soft touch, but no post game. Frye would go on to play only 73 games in two seasons in New York before being traded to Portland as part of the Steve Francis trade. Only Isiah.
Imagine a young, blossoming frontcourt of Bynum and Lee? The Lakers nailed it by taking him two spots later, milking him for two championships, and then selling him high for the league’s best defensive center. Who knows, maybe it would have been the Knicks moving Bynum for Howard.