Knicks still rank Towns at top of draft board

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With the NBA draft less than two months away, the New York Knicks continue to be very high on Karl Anthony-Towns, Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay. But, according to ESPN Insider Chad Ford, Towns is currently the Knicks' top choice if they wind up with the No. 1 pick.

New York ranks Towns at No. 1 on its draft board, followed by Okafor, Mudiay, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell and Duke’s Justise Winslow, sources inside the organization told Ford.

The Knicks will find out exactly where they pick on May 19 when the NBA holds its draft lottery. New York has a 19.9 percent chance of landing the top pick, a 38.7 percent chance of landing a top-two pick and an 87.7 percent chance of landing a top-four pick.

The Knicks, who finished with the second-worst record in the NBA, are guaranteed to pick no lower than fifth in the draft.

Phil Jackson has said he will likely keep the pick if it falls within the top four, but will consider dealing the pick if it falls to No. 5. Of course, Jackson could change his thinking between now and draft night. League sources with knowledge of the Knicks’ thinking said last month that the team would be very open to trading the pick if it falls outside the top two.

Jackson has said he’s looking for a strong defender in the draft, so it makes sense that the Knicks would rate Towns over Okafor. Towns is widely believed to be the stronger defender of the two at this stage of their careers, while Okafor is viewed by many talent evaluators as a stronger offensive player who is also more NBA-ready. But many scouts believe Towns can develop into a better all-around threat.

Question: Who do you think the Knicks should take with the top pick?