Examining Big East’s ‘best player,’ who may be destined for Knicks

During the Big East Tournament in March, eventual tourney and ultimate national champion Villanova used the Knicks’ locker room at Madison Square Garden. The situation was not lost on Villanova forward Mikal Bridges, who even then was seen by some as a possible Knicks draft pick.

“I love it here. We play here twice in the regular season and then the Big East Tournament. We play the most games here other than our home games,” Bridges said. “Great atmosphere, great venue. It’s cool to play on that court.”

Yeah, the Garden is a gym Bridges comfortably could call home.

Maybe, Bridges will find himself playing at the Garden frequently in the future. Among numerous mock drafts, Bridges is the player overwhelmingly associated with the Knicks at No. 9.

“His length and athleticism,” St. John’s coach and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin said of Bridges, assessing his NBA attributes. “He’s just going to improve. His shot is there. … From an NBA standpoint, he’s the best player in the conference.”

Where the Knicks land after their 29-53 season won’t be known until the NBA lottery in Chicago on Tuesday, when representatives from 14 teams descend with rabbit’s feet, lucky socks or incantations from the dark side to enhance luck.

The Knicks have an 81.34 percent chance of picking ninth, a 1.7 percent chance of getting the No. 1 slot and a 6.1 percent chance of landing a top-three pick. The Knicks have given indications of what they seek in the draft. Team president Steve Mills this past week provided a thumbnail.

“We need talent, we need athletic players,” Mills said. “The [draft] position will determine who we pick but in an ideal world, we’d like to get a wing player.”