The New York Knicks will decide whether or not to pick up Frank Ntilikina’s fourth-year option before the season starts on Wednesday.
The Knicks are still mulling over the decision on Ntilikina’s fourth-year option worth just over $6 million. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks could make a decision on Ntilikina by Wednesday’s season opener to avoid causing any unnecessary distraction once the regular season begins.
Ntilikina, along with Damyean Dotson of the same draft class, is the longest-tenured player on New York’s roster. The Frenchman was originally drafted to play point guard in Phil Jackson‘s triangle offense.
However, Jackson was ousted shortly after drafting Ntilikina. Steve Mills took over as team president and Scott Perry was brought in as general manager. It’s still unclear how invested the current front office is in the project point guard.
Although his offense is still a work-in-progress, Ntilikina flashes elite defensive potential often. His ability to shut down the point of attack with his superior length cannot be overlooked.
Picking up the option should be a fairly easy decision for the front office. Even if the team doesn’t see the 21-year-old as a long-term option, the becomes a much more tradeable asset if the team picks up his fourth-year option.
Ntilikina will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020 if his option is not picked up. It makes little sense for any team to give up assets for a player who might walk in free agency.