The man who works in the shadows as a mover and shaker will be on center stage Tuesday for the Knicks during the NBA draft lottery.
The team has decided on senior executive William Wesley — nicknamed “World Wide Wes’’ — as their representative on the dais to bring them some luck with the ping-pong balls. The Knicks hold just a 2 percent chance at the No. 1 pick and a 9.4 percent chance of vaulting into the top four for the June 23 draft.
Choosing Wesley was a rather surprising selection since, despite having president Leon Rose’s ear as arguably the team’s most important decision-maker, he usually is kept out of the spotlight. Wesley also has had owner James Dolan’s ear for years.
In fact, in an oddity, Wesley isn’t listed as one of the team executives in this past season’s game program. He was Rose’s right-hand man when Rose ran the Creative Artists Agency, but more in an unofficial capacity.
The Knicks have had little luck since winning the Patrick Ewing lottery in 1985. They will be the 11th seed Tuesday with the ping-pong balls heavily stacked for them to remain at 11 or fall to 12.
In recent years, the Knicks have been repped by Ewing, Walt Frazier, John Starks, and Allan Houston. There have been dais appearances by head coach Mike D’Antoni and front-office chiefs Steve Mills and Scott Perry.
When the lottery was held via Zoom in 2020, Rose appeared on the screen. The Knicks have never had an active player sit on the dais and RJ Barrett could’ve been the perfect selection.
Wesley was hired to recruit free agents and was courtside when Dallas and Utah faced off in the first round in Game 1 in Dallas. The Knicks have targeted Jalen Brunson, a free agent from the Mavericks, and Donovan Mitchell, who is a candidate to request a trade from the Jazz.