NBA rumors: Frank Ntilikina returns for New York

More on Frank Ntilikina Injury

Ntilikina, who sprained his knee the last time the Knicks visited Cleveland on Dec. 29, remains out indefinitely, with coach Tom Thibodeau giving no indication a return is close. “It’s a sprain,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks’ 106-103 loss to the Cavaliers on Friday. “We have to be patient and let him work through that. He’s making steady progress. It will probably be a little while longer.”
Injuries to Alec Burks and Frank Ntilikina, in particular, has Barrett playing more minutes than Thibodeau would like and neither will be back in the next week. Ntilikina (sprained knee), has missed nearly two weeks with a sprained knee and doesn’t figure back at practice for another week, according to Thibodeau.
Tommy Beer: Knicks announce Frank Ntilikina has been ruled out if tomorrow’s game vs. the Raptors due to a sprained right knee). Alec Burks (sprained left ankle), I. Quickley (sore left hip) and A. Rivers (sore groin) are all listed as questionable
Stefan Bondy: Julius Randle and Frank Ntilikina both participated in practice and are expected to play tomorrow in Miami. Knicks are trying to win for the fourth time in five games. Allonzo Trier (concussion) and Wayne Ellington (sore Achilles) remain out.
The Knicks, according to a source, will explore their options on Draft Night in June, especially after they obtained point guard Dennis Smith Jr. in the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster trade two months ago. Ntilikina and Smith never played together even as David Fizdale wanted to see how their varied skills meshed together in the backcourt.
Stefan Bondy: Kevin Knox (sprained right ankle) is out for the rest of the night and Frank Ntilikina (sore groin) is doubtful.
Marc Berman: Frank Ntilikina: "I’m really excited about being back on the floor with my guys. Being on the side for such a long time was really frustrating but I was doing everything in my power to keep improving. That feeling of being back in a jersey is so different than being in a suit.''
Mike Vorkunov: Frank Ntilikina will be re-evaluated after the last All-Star break. Mario Hezonja will start tonight for the Knicks and Noah Vonleh will come off the bench.
Some in the Knicks front office were enamored with Smith Jr. ahead of the 2017 NBA draft, sources said. The Knicks instead selected Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick. Ntilikina's name has come up in recent trade discussions, including informal talks between New York and Dallas about the possibility of moving Porzingis, sources told ESPN. New York will continue to try to trade disgruntled center Enes Kanter ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, sources told ESPN.
Steve Popper: Fizdale said that he hopes it is not long for Ntilikina with the groin strain but they won’t rush it and it could be a week or two.
Frank Ntilikina’s sprained left ankle is trending in the right direction. After missing the past three games, the French point guard may be active Sunday against the 76ers at the Garden after taking part in Saturday’s practice. “There’s a chance,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said.
Ntilikina is being listed as questionable for the game. The other injured youngster, center Mitchell Robinson, however, will remain out with a groin injury. Fizdale said there is a shot he could return Thursday against the Wizards in London, though it’s not “set in stone.” Robinson has missed the past 12 games, first due to a left ankle injury and now a groin problem.
The injury occurred after he got stripped by Josh Hart and raced back on defense. Ntilikina’s return is unclear and it sounds more than minor. The Frenchman said he was happy X-rays were negative, but there’s a chance he undergoes an MRI exam to determine the extent of the tendon damage. “I wasn’t on the court, but I’m happy we got that win,’’ Ntilikina said. “I’m trying to be positive and get that ankle to be OK real quick. We’re going to see day-to-day. Thankfully the X-rays of the bones were OK. Now we’re going to see and do the best to get back on the court real quick.’’
Al Iannazzone: Ntilikina (illness) will not play vs Pistons. O'Quinn starts at center with Kanter out and Troy Williams is starting at small forward.
Emmanuel Mudiay is a penetrating point guard who can set up his teammates, which is something the Knicks need. He’s averaging 9.7 points and 5.0 assists in three games with the Knicks. But the Knicks also need to see what Ntilikina can do with significant minutes. He’s only 19 and if his offense catches up with his defense, he could prove to be a find. When the Knicks were winning early in the season, Ntilikina was closing games. His defense was critical. But Jeff Hornacek went away from that because he felt Ntilikina “hit a little bit of a wall.” Hornacek also noted that the tendinitis in Ntilikina’s knee limited him, and the Knicks were trying to be smart and not play him heavy minutes.
“[Frank Ntilikina] just looked exhausted sometimes,” Jeff Hornacek said. “His knee hurt for a while there, and that’s stuff we have to build up. And again, this is going to be a great last 23 games for him because, we’ll see, can he play the 30 minutes without his knees hurting? Part of that is growth. He’s young. But these last two practices, we’ve had hard practices, guys are going extremely hard. And he’s looked really good and he’s not complaining about any knee issues so the rest may have done him some good.”
However, Ntilikina reported his knee started hurting not on just one play, but an ailment that has brewed “over time.’’ The Frenchmen still hoped to be back for Tuesday’s game against the Bucks at the Garden. “It’s been like a month,” Ntilikina said. “It [felt] a little sore. Now it feels a little more sore. It will be all right.”
Ian Begley: Frank Ntilikina didn’t play in 2nd half due to knee soreness. He said it’s unrelated to knee issues that sidelined him in summer league/preseason. “It was just over time. It’s been like a month, I feel my knee a little sore. Now it was a little more. It’s going to be all right.”
Frank Ntilikina’s rookie season took another turn in the wrong direction when he twisted his right ankle in Tuesday’s practice and missed his third game in the Knicks’ 115-86 win over Miami on Wednesday. It was the same ankle that sidelined him after the season opener for two games. Ntilikina, 19, said the injury isn’t related to his severe ankle sprain that occurred the day after the Knicks lost in Oklahoma City when he went sprawling to the court. Nevertheless, coach Jeff Hornacek said once an ankle is twisted like it was last month, it probably wouldn’t have healed 100 percent by now.
New York Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina is expected to play Friday against the Brooklyn Nets after missing the previous two games with a left ankle injury. Ntilikina injured his ankle during practice last Saturday and returned to practice without limitation on Thursday. The ankle injury was the latest in a series of ailments that has limited the 19-year-old early in his career.
Jeff Hornacek says Frank Ntilikina will not play on Tuesday against Boston due to an ankle injury. Ntilikina missed most of practice Monday but Hornacek said the rookie's lateral movement has improved and the Knicks hope to have him back for Friday's game against Brooklyn. Ntilikina has missed two games with the ankle sprain, which he suffered in practice Friday. He missed the final four games of the preseason with a knee contusion and the entire summer league with a similar injury. Hornacek said the organization isn't worried about Ntilikina, whom they selected with the No. 8 overall pick, being injury-prone. The coach said the 19-year-old's ailments are a result of playing with maximum effort. "He's playing as hard as he can .... I can't complain about that."
Ntilikina, who the Knicks took with the No. 8 pick, rolled his ankle when he was boxing out Willy Hernangomez during a four-on-four game Friday. Ntilikina laid on the floor and had to be helped to the locker room. He said he’s “a little bit upset” he can’t play, but he was relieved it’s not that serious.
Ntilikina said it didn’t swell up much over night. He ran during shootaround but he had trouble going side-to-side. He hopes to play Tuesday at Boston. “It’s nothing serious,” he said. “On the play I felt it a lot. Ten minutes after I was OK . . . It’s not as bad as it can be. I was a little bit scared about it. After the night I was confident it wasn’t very serious.”
Stefan Bondy: Source said Ntilikina simply turned his ankle and is feeling much better while getting treatment. Knicks listing him as questionable for Sat
During a competitive game of 4-on-4, Ntilikina hobbled off the floor before going to the ground, clutching his left ankle. The Frenchmen was clearly in a lot of pain and stayed down for several minutes. “Looked like I thought he maybe stepped on Willy’s [Hernangomez] foot,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said shortly after the incident. “[Frank] went to box him out and it looked like he stepped on his foot. Hopefully it’s not too bad.”

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Ian Begley: Frank Ntilikina (knee) didn't participate in contact portions of practice today. Kristaps Porzingis participated in all of practice.
Porzingis, who has a sore hip, practiced on a limited basis with the team Thursday. Ntilikina, who has a bruised right knee, missed his second straight day of practice though he did shoot on his own for an extended period. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek did not rule out an appearance by either player but sounded as if he’s inclined to hold both out so they are ready to go for the regular-season opener Thursday at Oklahoma City.
Frank Ntilikina was on the court running and doing some light shooting before the game, and working out after it. Ntilikina’s bruised right knee is improving but there is no guarantee he will play in one of the Knicks’ remaining two summer league games. The Knicks’ first-round pick hasn’t played in their first three — all losses.
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Kevin Love unlikely to return before All-Star break

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is on this quick two-game trip with his teammates so he can continue to rehab a high-grade strained right calf, but the five-time All-Star is “unlikely” to return until after the NBA All-Star break, league sources tell cleveland.com.
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Kevin Durant to still serve as All-Star captain

The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant will still serve as an NBA All-Star Game captain despite a hamstring injury that will keep him from playing. Durant and fellow All-Star Game captain LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers will each draft a roster out of the pool of selected All-Stars. The All-Star draft will air on TNT on March 4. It remained unclear whether Durant will travel to Atlanta for the game on March 7.
A Knicks official said Rivers was at the Garden, but in the back getting treatment for a sore ankle. Rivers was not listed on the pregame injury report submitted to the NBA. On the box score, Rivers was listed with a DNP-Coach’s Decision. Earlier this week, Rivers said of his situation: “I can’t control if I’m traded today, tomorrow or the next day. What I can control is how I am as a player.’’
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That doesn’t mean he’s a finished product. There’s a reason the Raptors signed him with G League intentions and not for the NBA roster. The 10-day contract (about $82,000) affords them six games to see how he can fit and progress in their environment. It’s an audition by another name, and not the first time the Raptors have used a 10-day to get a 905 look at a prospect. “This gives us a chance to get Donta down in our system, teach him our ins and outs and the way we operate our offence, our defence, our schemes, and see how he looks running those,” general manager Chad Sanders said. “With Tampa just down the street, it’s a chance for us to get him out there and get some reps and get a chance to evaluate him for the big club.”
Among active superstars, Doncic’s game might be most similar to that of perennial MVP candidate James Harden, who acknowledged Saturday night that he considers those comparisons legitimate. “There are some similarities,” Harden said after the Mavs’ 115-98 road win snapped the Brooklyn Nets’ eight-game winning streak. “He never lets anyone speed him up, and he gets what he wants. That’s rare for a guy at a young age. I think he’s 21 years old. And to be able to dictate the game and control the game like he does, we all know he has a very, very bright future. “The Mavs got a special one.”
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