Although no definitive plans are in place, the New York Knicks are already thinking about the offseason development of Frank Ntilikina.
Frank Ntilikina is a 19-year-old adjusting to life in a new country, while also trying to prove himself in the best basketball league in the world. The New York Knicks know he’s dealing with a lot at once and his development may be slower than your average rookie.
Fortunately, Jeff Hornacek thinks that if Ntilikina can commit to getting stronger in the offseason, he’ll be much better off for it. Before Monday night’s game against the Warriors Hornacek told Marc Berman of the NY Post:
With Frank, it’s just strength. He’s 19 and he’s never been in a weight program. Our strength guys are working hard with him. He has gotten stronger. But it’s going to take him a couple of years, almost like KP. It’s going to take couple of years to get that strength. Everything becomes easier. You don’t get knocked off your spot. You can finish better. The more strength you have, the more conditioning you can do and not get tired.
This isn’t earth-shattering insight from Hornacek, but it makes sense. Ntilikina’s still growing into his body and the offseason will be a major factor in his overall development.
The French Prince will likely return to France after the season to spend time with friends and family. He even said as much to reporters at All-Star Weekend. Hornacek and the Knicks have other plans for Ntilikina.
Hornacek would go on to tell Marc Berman
We haven’t discussed any of that [summer] stuff. We want to encourage them after the season to go back. It’s tough for a kid to leave home. He’s got to get home but he’ll be back a little bit. I’m sure we’ll have him back for the summer league.
It sounds like the Knicks have a plan in place, or at least have discussed one regarding Ntilikina. Hopefully, they can find the right plan and help the former lottery pick take his game to the next level in his sophomore campaign.