Patrick Ewing, a member of the Golden State Warriors?
The Hall of Fame center wanted it to happen.
No, really, the best college prospect in 1985 wanted to go to the Warriors.
The former Georgetown star was huddled with his college coach John Thompson and his agent David Falk for the 1985 NBA Draft lottery, and he was hoping for a specific outcome.
"We were all there, watching and waiting and anticipating, you know, hoping that ..." Ewing told SiriusXM NBA Radio's Frank Isola. "First I wanted to go to Golden State because Eric Floyd played there and he was a teammate of mine at Georgetown. And the next one was the Knicks. Once Golden State didn't win, I definitely wanted to go to the Knicks."
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the Knicks winning the first ever Draft Lottery!— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) May 12, 2020
🔊 @CoachEwing33 remembers that night with @TheFrankIsola.
Hear the full interview tomorrow morning on The Starting Lineup! pic.twitter.com/9hhPuQA97r
The Warriors didn't end up with the No. 1 overall pick, thus missing out on Ewing. But things still worked out well for Golden State.
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With the No. 7 overall pick, the Warriors drafted St. John's wing Chris Mullin.
In an ironic twist, Ewing and Mullin almost became teammates with the Warriors in 1991.
According to the New York Daily News, the Warriors tried to exploit a clause in Ewing's contract to lure him away in free agency.
All the Warriors had to do was convince Mullin to restructure his contract so it was front-loaded. Ewing's contract said that if he wasn't one of the top-4 paid players in the NBA, he could become a free agent.
If Mullin had reworked his deal, it would have nudged Ewing to No. 5 on the salary scale. Former Knicks president Dave Checketts told the Daily News that Ewing wanted to go to the Warriors.
Checketts threatened to sue the Warriors if they restructured Mullin's contract. Ewing never became a free agent and he ended up staying in the Big Apple until 2000.
There are so many "What ifs" here. What if the Warriors drafted Ewing and not Mullin? What if the Warriors had been able to steal Ewing away from the Knicks and pair him with Mullin, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond?
We'll never know the answers to those questions, but it's fun to think about how many NBA titles "Run TMCP" could have won.