As we grow near the NBA lottery, it seems odd the New York Knicks won’t be involved. President Leon Rose has done a phenomenal job turning this team around in one season, thanks to the emergence of Julius Randle and hiring head coach Tom Thibodeau. A reliance on aggressive defense and team chemistry has not only changed the narrative but made New York an attractive place for superstars, as Magic Johnson stated on Monday.

“I think because they made the run and got to the playoffs. And the city is alive about the Knicks, right? I think guys are now looking at and say, ‘Hey man, if I put myself in that lineup with Julius (Randle), (Immanuel) Quickley, (RJ) Barrett and on, and on. Hey, man, we could do something special.’ Because that’s what guys wanna see,” Johnson said.

Most believed the organization would once again be activating their superstitious good luck charms to have an opportunity at landing a top-five pick, which would give them a chance at landing Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs. Nonetheless, the team has two mid-first-round picks, one from the Dallas Mavericks and their own. Sitting at 19 and 21, the Knicks could look to pair the selections together and move up as high as they will take them, given they don’t have the roster spots to add multiple rookies.

Alternatively, they could pair their first-round picks together and look to acquire an established player via trade. However, being excluded from the lottery represents one massive positive, the Knicks are finally headed in the right direction.

As Magic stated, superstars are now intrigued by MSG, a place that has been off-limits for players looking to win championships. With Randle elevating his game and a few exciting young players in RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Obi Toppin, there’s reason to believe star-free agents will consider the Knicks as one of their top destinations.

Ultimately, bringing New York to the top of the NBA would be a legendary feat, and for a player looking to do it on the biggest stage in front of some of the most intense fans in the world, there’s no better opportunity. The Knicks have $60+ million in funds available this off-season, so they are not strapped for cash but rather looking to spend and upgrade a team that is losing a few key contributors from the 2020–21 season.

This article first appeared on Empire Sports Media and was syndicated with permission.

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