Frank Ntilikina
AP Photo

Frank Ntilikina’s season is over due to a groin injury, but his New York Knicks career could be in jeopardy as well.

Danny Small

Frank Ntilikina‘s sophomore season with the New York Knicks has been an unmitigated disaster. In 43 games he averaged 5.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. His inconsistent play led to multiple DNPs this year.

But injuries are most concerning for the 20-year-old. The Frenchman is done for the season after re-aggravating an injury that sidelined him for 24 straight games at one point.

“Frank Ntilikina re-aggravated his strained groin muscle during the March 24 game vs the Clippers,” Knicks PR writes via Twitter. “Subsequently, he was re-evaluated by Knicks medical staff. Following the re-evaluation, the team’s medical staff has recommended that he miss the final two weeks of the season.”

There is a distinct possibility that Ntilikina has played his last game in a Knicks uniform. His selection was one of Phil Jackson‘s last moves as team president and that fact has not been forgotten. The organization’s belief in Ntilikina has always been somewhat muddied.

Trade rumors have swirled around Ntilikina for the better part of the season and it’s likely that the Knicks would part ways with the young guard if offered a first-round pick.

Of course, the Knicks and head coach David Fizdale have talked at length about improving the defense. Ntilikina is undoubtedly one of the team’s strongest defenders. He can effectively guard three positions and even hold his own when switched onto many power forwards.

Ntilikina’s issues have always been on the offensive end. He’s failed to blossom on that end of the court, but again, he’s 20. The French guard still has a high ceiling. It would seem silly to trade him when his value is at its lowest.

Then again, a trade might be best for both sides. The Knicks could part with one of the last pieces of Jax’s puzzle and Ntilikina might benefit from a scenery change.

The Knicks are well aware of the positive effects a new home can have on a young player. That’s one of their signature moves as a front office.

 

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU