Second-year guard Frank Ntilikina has had a roller-coaster tenure with the New York Knicks and his future is in doubt.
No news is good news. And in this case, the news about Frank Ntilikina isn’t so good. One source told Marc Berman of the New York Post the New York Knicks are open to trading Ntilikina if the price is right.
“According to a source, Knicks brass will explore their options on draft night with Ntilikina,” Berman writes. “Obviously, Ntilikina is available in any Anthony Davis package, but if the Knicks can acquire an extra first-round pick for him, they would consider it.”
It’s unclear whether or not the Knicks would be able to secure a first-round pick in exchange for Ntilikina. On the other hand, including him in a trade package for Anthony Davis would seem necessary if a deal like that should ever come to fruition.
This report doesn’t come as a surprise. Ntilikina was the apple of Phil Jackson’s eye. Drafting the Frenchman was his last act before the Knicks axed Jax six days later. From that point forward, the team’s belief in Ntilikina has always seemed lukewarm.
Drafted to be a point guard, Ntilikina hasn’t played much of the position. He’s struggled on offense for much of his career, but he’s shined on the defensive end.
The young Frenchman is remarkably athletic and still growing into his body. His potential is sky high, but his performance on the court leaves something to be desired. Although a trade wouldn’t surprise anyone, Ntilikina might still have his chance to prove himself.
He’s rehabbing a sore groin, but he plans to return before the season is over. His rehab has dragged on longer than anyone expected, but there are still 17 games left.
A strong return to the court and developing chemistry alongside Dennis Smith Jr. could be the key to staying in New York. Or perhaps a strong finish to the year would entice a team to part with their first rounder.
But for now, uncertainty looms large.