Phil Jackson talks with top point guards as draft lottery nears

CHICAGO — Knicks president Phil Jackson is in town for this week’s NBA Draft Combine. Eight of the top 10 projected picks are not.

Markelle Fultz is here. Lonzo Ball and his $495 sneakers are not.

The two point-guard studs — from Washington and UCLA, respectively — are projected as the top two picks in the June 22 draft. The Knicks, seeded seventh, still have a puncher’s chance to land one — at least until Tuesday’s lottery.

Of the sizzling one-and-done Kentucky backcourt options, point guard De’Aaron Fox is here, shooting guard Malik Monk is not. Neither are small-forward studs Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum, or point guards Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina. At least Ntilikina has an excuse, He’s still playing in the French league.

Jackson normally doesn’t show up to the Chicago Westside gym for the games, staying back in the hotel to interview the draft prospects, and according to sources on Wednesday he met with Fultz and Fox, who may not last beyond No. 6. (The Knicks have a 57 percent chance at remaining at No. 7).

Though the lottery candidates for years have shunned playing in the five-on-five and skills, the majority used to show up for the medical exams and media. The increasing no-shows have angered general managers.

“Agents have the power,’’ said ESPN draft guru Fran Fraschilla. “That’s just the bottom line with these top kids. The agents have the ability to control the draft. If you’re uncomfortable about a medical situation, I can’t see in the first eight, nine picks, not that anybody has had a major injury, but you’re rolling the dice.”

Fultz, projected to go with the top pick in most mock drafts, hasn’t signed officially with an agent, but he also has a marketing deal with Under Armour — which is the draft combine sponsor.

Markelle Fultz drives to the basket during a game earlier in the season.AP

Fraschilla estimates 15 freshmen will be picked in the first round and said he feels there is a definite drop-off after Fultz and Ball, then another after the ninth pick. Josh Jackson’s agent is former Jackson point guard B.J. Armstrong, also the rep of Derrick Rose.

Knicks GM Steve Mills, the team’s army of scouts and coach Jeff Hornacek are expected here — with an eye on finding players who can fit into a team structure as Phil Jackson portrays his maligned triangle. The Knicks have two second-round picks (44 and 58).

“We keep insisting upon the type of players we want,’’ Jackson said at his season-ending press conference. “Behind the scenes, and the group that we have — Steve Mills, Jamie Matthews [basketball operations director], Kristian Petesic [director of scouting] and the people in our scouting — I think we know what we want, and we are interested in developing and turning away from just, say: This guy can jump out of the gym, this guy can do a triple-double game or dunk the ball. That is not what we are interested in. We are interested in skill players that know…

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