Frank Ntilikina
AP Photo

Frank Ntilikina’s future with the New York Knicks is uncertain. But he will likely have a chance to gain momentum at the FIBA World Cup.

So many are quick to write off Frank Ntilikina. The French point guard struggled in his first two years with the New York Knicks, but he’s looking to change that in year three.

Before he suits up with the Knicks again, Ntilikina will likely head to China to play with Team France in the FIBA World Cup. He is still looking to get medically cleared to play. Injuries plagued his second season with the Knicks.

French Knicks Pod provided an update on Ntilikina’s situation this summer which included a translated quote from Team France’s head coach, Vincent Collet

“Frank will be a big advantage for the team this summer because he has intangibles that you can’t teach and with his physical tools, he’s a 6-foot-7 point guard, we will use him with all his offensive strengths: his high IQ and his versatility,” Collet said.

French Knicks Pod also notes that Ntilikina will likely come off the bench. But he should see significant minutes due to his defensive prowess.

During his first two seasons with the Knicks, Ntilikina averaged 5.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. Despite his pedestrian numbers, it would be unwise to completely write him off.

He was never going to be a prototypical NBA point guard, but his length and defensive versatility are tantalizing.

Moreover, he has spent the last two years playing behind Jarrett Jack and Emmanuel Mudiay. He was never given the opportunity to play point guard consistently with the Knicks.

Part of that is on him for not winning the job outright. But the Knicks should bear some of the blame as well. Jack and Mudiay were never in the long-term plans and they were given valuable minutes ahead of Ntilikina.

Year three could make or break the French point guard’s future. A strong showing in China with Team France could be a launching pad for Ntilikina to have a breakout year with the Knicks.

 

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