Malik Monk Kentucky
The New York Knicks could pick Kentucky's Malik Monk with the No.8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Pictured: Monk smiles during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament against Northern Kentucky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 17, 2017 in Indianapolis. Reuters/Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NBA Draft Lottery was another disappointment in a long line of failures for the New York Knicks. Any opportunity to land a top prospect like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball or De’Aaron Fox likely went out the window when the team was given the No.8 overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft.

That’s not to say plenty of good players with star potential won’t be available when it’s New York’s turn to make a pick on June 22. When looking at the latest mock drafts and rumors, names like Malik Monk, Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina are brought up in connection with the Knicks.

New York’s pick will ultimately be determined by the seven players that get taken ahead of them, but one thing about the Knicks’ pick does seem to be pretty clear—it won’t be a big man. With Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah and Willy Hernangomez in the frontcourt, the Knicks are looking to improve their backcourt.

“There’s quite a few guards [in the draft],’’ Knicks president Phil Jackson told reporters after the lottery, via The New York Post. “We have a couple of guards on the roster. We have a guard need, we have a wing need. So we know what we need.’’

Point guard Derrick Rose is a free agent this summer, and it wouldn’t make much sense to sign him to a lengthy contract. Shooting guard Courtney Lee started 74 games for the Knicks in the 2016-2017 season, but he’s never been much more than an average player in his nine NBA seasons.

According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, Monk and Ntilikina are probably the Knicks’ top two targets. Both players will be just 19 years old at the start of the 2017-2018 NBA season.

Monk helped lead Kentucky to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, winning the award for SEC Freshman of the Year and being named to the All-SEC first team. Averaging 19.8 points per game on 45 percent field goal shooting and 39.7 percent three-point shooting, he was the leading scorer on the best team in the SEC.

Ntilikina didn’t play college basketball last year, but the French point guard has plenty of upside. He’s 6’5 with a lot of athleticism, and New York might take him because his game is an ideal fit for the triangle.

It’s possible that the Knicks could target a small forward if Monk is off the board or a few top prospects slip in the draft. Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac could become options for New York, though they are expected to go within the top seven picks. North Carolina’s Justin Jackson is even in the mix, though he’s not considered to be a guaranteed lottery selection.

The Knicks had been hoping to land one of the top three point guards, and Jackson reportedly had meetings with both Fultz and Fox at the NBA Combine last week. Fultz will likely go to the Boston Celtics with the first overall pick, followed by Ball to the Los Angeles Lakers at No.2. Fox might not last beyond the Philadelphia 76ers at No.3 or the Phoenix Suns at No.4.

After the Knicks were shut out of the top three picks, Jackson acknowledged that the team might consider trading down in the draft.

“We’ll go through the strategy of what we have to do as we go along,’’ Jackson said Tuesday. “We’re going to start workouts, start seeing if the numbers correspond with our number.’’

In addition to the No.8 overall pick, the Knicks also have two second-round picks.