Frank Ntilikina Rumors

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Frank Ntilikina
Frank Ntilikina
Position: G
Born: 07/28/98
Height: 6-4 / 1.93
Weight:190 lbs. / 86.2 kg.
Salary: $4,855,800
There is so much uncertainty with the coronavirus pandemic, but one thing is for sure: the salary cap will be lowered, according to league sources. On the surface, that makes it advantageous to build around younger players on cheaper contracts. That said, if Rose has young assets to tempt the Thunder this offseason, sliding Paul into cap space will be easier than fitting in a top free agent. That’s because the Knicks would have to give up pacts such as those of Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox to make the trade.
The longest-tenured Knick will enter the final year of his rookie contract, making a hefty $6.2 million in 2020-21. Knicks fans either love or hate their 2017 lottery pick it seems. “Knicks fans, they love the team,’’ Ntilikina said. “They really want the team to be successful. They really have that drive with basketball. Also that’s what makes it really special to be able to play at the Garden.’’
Frank Ntilikina’s home base is France, which is on a lockdown, making it more complicated. The U.S. is not accepting flights back from France. International players “can’t currently leave the country,” according to an NBA source. “It’s crazy how things can change from one minute to the next.” Ntilikina wrote on Instagram. “Over the last few days, we have learned that we are all equal. When it comes to global health. I just want to first and foremost to wish to all the people infected by the virus a speedy recovery.
Ntilikina admitted he was “really scared’’ at first but felt the U.S. was starting to become “more prepared.” “We can avoid being sick if we are safe, really good hygiene, take care of ourselves, wash our hands, avoid handshakes,” Ntilikina said last Tuesday at Georgetown. “I think with us and people that are in the league it’s much more elbow to elbow shakes, stuff like that, just being more cautious.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Per SNY sources, Frank Ntilikina’s name has also come up in conversations between the Knicks and Warriors around Russell. Some people around Russell said over the summer that he was open to the possibility of signing with New York because he liked the city and he was intrigued by the idea of competing so closely with the Nets — the team that decided to sign Kyrie Irving instead of bringing him back.
Payton made his second straight start against Washington on Monday and notched 12 assists, but missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the 121-115 loss. It could be a permanent look, raising questions about Ntilikina’s long-term future as a Knick. Ntilikina had started 23 of 24 games before Saturday — missing one game with an injury. Ntilikina had left the locker room before reporters were let in Saturday night. In breaking his silence, the 2017 lottery pick said, “[Payton’s] playing great basketball. It looks easy for him, seeing the court, making those guys comfortable. He’s a great teammate that I can learn a lot from.”
Storyline: Frank Ntilikina Trade?
One NBA personnel man told The Post Ntilikina would have been better off spending at least one more season overseas, in a higher-quality European league than in France. Instead, Ntilikina entered the NBA as a 19-year-old and former Knicks president Phil Jackson drafted him at No. 8 to run the triangle. Jackson was fired days later. “I’m comfortable,’’ Ntilikina said of the switch. “It’s just a role change. When I’m on the court, I know it’s my job. I got to do my job and bring everything I can to the team.’’
With the trade deadline a few weeks away, we’ve been asking teams about the trade value of some of the Knicks. We also asked a few teams about Frank Ntilikina’s value: “They drafted him at eight (Ntilikina was the eighth overall pick in 2017) and they’re obviously not going to get back a top-10 pick for him,” one team said. “But he still has value. A lot of people value him around the league because he’s still young (21) and he plays defense. His shot isn’t there, but there’s reason to think he can improve. Getting a second round pick for him, that’s not even a question. I’m not sure about a first, maybe a late first. You can’t rule it out. Crazier things have happened in this league.”
Storyline: Frank Ntilikina Trade?
Entering Friday’s game against Miami, he’s averaging six points, three assists, 1.3 steals and two rebounds per game. He’s shooting 38 percent overall and 34 percent from beyond the arc. “I think teams definitely still value him. Maybe you can get a late first from someone for him because he’s still young,” one team said. “Maybe it’s like a (Markelle) Fultz situation where it’s best for both parties to move on. You know he can defend. You just don’t know what he can be offensively. He’s been so inconsistent there.”
Another team isn’t as high on Ntilikina: “I think they could get back another young player that’s been struggling or a second rounder. Definitely not a first.” A team we spoke with that didn’t rule out the possibility of New York getting a late first for Ntilikina suggested a team may value the known quantity in Ntilikina over the unknown of a draft prospect. “You know what you have (in Ntilikina). Is he better than a kid coming into the draft that you’d get at the end of the first round?”
“Sometimes they’ve got to go through some tough love to find themselves and watch the game from 25,000 feet, see it, and see the things that I’m emphasizing,” Fizdale said. “I was tough on Frank last year and I just feel like Frank has come back with a whole different mindset about how he’s going to go about this season. I’ve been so happy with the way he’s played and produced. But I do think a little bit of tough love on some of these young guys isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
Ntilikina said that he learned from his own benching last season and even early this season. “To stay with it,” Ntilikina said of the lesson. “Control what you can control. And see how I can affect the team even when I’m not playing, talk to teammates, give advice, be a great teammate and keep working in practice, keep working on your game, and the opportunity will come. Obviously it’s a long season. An opportunity will come. Most of it is how can I be a good teammate and still be part of the team.”