The big rumor rattling around the rafters at MSG are saying that the New York Knicks are looking to trade point guard Frank Ntilikina, the overall eighth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft who was buried deep on the Knicks bench this season, before the upcoming NBA Draft.
The Knicks are hoping they can trade Frank Ntilikina straight up for a draft pick. In two seasons with the Knicks, Ntilikina played 121 games and started in 25. He averaged 5.9 points per game in his limited career.
Phil Jackson drafted Frank Ntilikina out of France precisely a week before he was fired by the New York Knicks. Jackson liked Ntilikina’s defense and his potential ability to run Tex Winter’s Triangle Offense to perfection at Madison Square Garden. None of the Knicks veterans wanted to learn the antiquated offense and Jackson found his tenure cut short.
The Knicks were in full-blown tank mode this past season in hopes of acquiring Zion Williamson. The New Orleans Pelicans secured the first pick and the Knicks had to settle on the third-overall pick in the upcoming draft. The NBA got the last laugh against tanking teams, especially the Knicks.
The Knicks are expected to draft RJ Barrett, even though they have two point guards in Emmanuel Mudiay and Dennis Smith, Jr., whom they acquired in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks for Kristaps Porzingis.
Frankie N Sleeps with the Fishes?
Frank Ntilikina, 20, is a 6-foot-6 point guard that the Knicks wanted to move to shooting guard. Ntilikina struggled with adapting to a new role while he also missed nearly half the season with a groin injury. He averaged 5.7 points per game but shot only 28.7 percent from three-point range including 33.7 percent overall from the floor.
Ntilikina also clashed with first-year coach David Fizdale. In Ntilikina’s defense, Fizdale is not a fan of European players and thinks they are softer than Americans. Fizdale clashed with Marc Gasol in Memphis when Fizdale coached the Grizzlies. He also had problems getting on the same page with Porzingis and Enes Kanter.
Ntilikina recently fired his old agency, the renown CAA, in favor of an agent who handles French players in the NBA.
Future Bright for Knicks?
The Knicks have their eyes on drafting Duke’s RJ Barrett, which means there’s one less spot for a guard in the mix. The Knicks also would like to load up on as many draft picks as possible in order to sweeten any potential deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Anthony Davis indicated he did not want to re-sign with the Boston Celtics if he’s traded to Boston. AD mentioned he would love to play for the LA Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, or New York Knicks.
Even if the Knicks do not get a shot at AD, they are still seeking out Kyrie Irving. That’s another guaranteed spot in the rotation that Ntilikina has zero shot at winning. Any way you cut it, Frank Ntilikina is not in the Knicks future.
The Knicks might be the most-valuable franchise in the NBA according to Forbes. However, this is another example of the Knicks squandering a first-round pick on a player who barely scored six points per game.