But there are a few things that make Ntilikina’s game translate to the NBA. Standing at 6’5″, with almost a 7-foot wingspan, Ntilikina’s frame is very impressive for a point-guard. His ability to defend on bigger guys is already solid, and he can vastly improve once he gets bigger and stronger. “I think his defense is worth a mention,” an international scout told Def Pen. “He has the chance to be a lockdown defender. I saw him in a game against Orleans this year, and he had a very impressive defensive game. He was everywhere, switched on almost everybody and helped his team to steal at least 4-5 balls.”
Ultimately, the combination of frame, length, defense, three-point shooting, court vision, unselfishness is what makes Frank Ntilikina look like the next big thing in international basketball, a player that may interrupt the dominance of American guards in the NBA. It’s always tough to find an NBA comparison for a player who hasn’t played a single minute in the league yet but it’s such an ordinary thing, so let’s finish this with a comparison. “If I have to make a comparison,” an International scout said to Def Pen. ‘I’d say that Ntilikina may be like a taller Dennis Schroeder”.
The 27-year-old, who is in London with the Pacers as they face the Denver Nuggets at the O2 Arena on Thursday night is understandably focussing on his club duties but has said that he will make contact with the federation during the season. “I haven’t spoken to the French federation yet but it’s something I am going to do at some point,” Seraphin said. “Being honest, it’s a step-by-step thing but I am hopeful to play for France this summer. However, my focus is with the Pacers and I am waiting to see where I stand in regards to the rotation and where I stand here and see where I might be with the national side moving forward.”
NBPA: With your new contract, do you have any new ideas off the court? Nicolas Batum: I still can’t believe my new contract. I built a house in Charlotte. And I’ve always done a great job of taking care of my money in my first deal. I’ve been thinking about a project, but I don’t know yet. I want to take care of my money and find a good project—business, a basketball team, do things in Africa, do things in France, stuff like that. I want to try to do a lot of things to help the community. NBPA: What kind of basketball team? NB: A pro basketball team. Maybe ownership in France. I’m thinking about it.
Richard Solomon signed a contract to play in France with Gravelines-Dunkerque. The American was at the training camp with the Hawks.
Tony Parker on playing with Pau Gasol: “It’s great to finish like that! I played against him since I was 14 years with the national team: cadets, juniors and seniors… Then in the NBA, it’s great fun! He’s such a good player, a good passer. I hope we will have a great season.”