3. Frank Ntilikina, International
- Position: Point Guard
- Age: 18 (07/28/1998)
- Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6’5″, 170 pounds, 7’0″ (reported)
- 2016-17 Slash Line: .536/.481/.600
- 2016-17 Averages: 4.9 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.6 SPG
French point guard Frank Ntilikina (pronounced Nee-lee-KEE-na) plays for the top-tier level men’s professional basketball league in his native country. He’s going to be a favorite of the organization leading up to the draft.
Knicks President Phil Jackson selected international star Kristaps Porzingis in 2015 with his only other first round draft pick. The unicorn’s success will have an impact on what Jackson does this summer.
Ntilikina will be tempting for Jackson and head coach Jeff Hornacek. The former champion head coach could see Frank as a rare prospect who could run the triangle right out of the gate. For Hornacek, Frank is excellent in transition.
The biggest knock on Frank seems to be that he’s too passive. He doesn’t look for his own shot enough. He will need to learn to be more aggressive with the ball. Considering he’s a teenager, that shouldn’t be hard.
That’s a far cry from most college kids when they come into the league. Typically coaches are trying to get them to stop turning the ball over and play more conservatively.
Other sites claim that Frank’s not NBA ready yet. That’s the same thing they said about Porzingis. It’s the most commonly used insult against International players.
New York’s history with French prospects (it’s hard to forget Frederic Weis) will make some fans skittish about Frank. That’s just the history that the franchise has created. Ntilikina is the real deal. Ancient history shouldn’t get in the way.