The New York Knicks have their eyes on another international prospect. They’re linked to Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick in NBA draft.
It’s hard to say what’s real and what’s a smoke screen this close to draft day, but it seems like the franchise has a legitimate interest in selecting him when they are on the clock. While current point guard Derrick Rose could take a pay cut to stay with the team, he’s not the answer for the future.
However, he may not be available for the Mavs come draft day next week. The 18-year-old French prospect spoke about playing for the Knicks (via NY Daily News):
I watch a lot of their games and I know how they play with their triangle offense with Phil Jackson as the president, and I know the players. I think it would be a good thing for me … I love to learn everything about the game, so I was just trying to figure out what it was, and how to play that. It brought Phil Jackson a lot of championships. So it’s good.
Ntilikina added he would love to play with Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis because they “learned the European way” and can play pick-and-roll offense together. Last season, the Knicks had four European players on their roster.
During the interview, Ntilikina said he does not compare to any point guard in the NBA because of his wingspan. Only Rajon Rando has similar arm length, fingertip to fingertip.
Another sign of mutual respect is Ntilikina worked out in New York star Carmelo Anthony’s gym in Manhattan a few months ago.