Storyline: Frank Ntilikina Trade?

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“I’m happy to be a Knick,’’ Ntilikina said Sunday in his first comments since April while dropping by the Knicks’ 105-100 overtime summer league loss to the Suns. “I still take as much as I can get from every situation. I’m still in a Knick jersey. I’m happy to be here. I work very hard to make this situation successful.’’

It’s logical to think that there are no players on the Knicks roster who are off limits when it comes to potential trades, but 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina is one player who members of the organization are open to listening to offers on, sources confirm. Ntilikina has been a part of trade rumors for several months. It is unclear what the Knicks would be looking for in return for a Ntilikina deal, but the New York Post, which first reported the Knicks’ willingness to move Ntilikina, says the club is looking for a late first or second-round pick.

When pressed further, Fizdale cited Ntilikina’s versatility as his long-term fit in New York. We’ll see how long this tenuous partnership lasts. Ntilikina spent most of his sophomore season either injured, ineffective or buried on the bench. During what will probably devolve into the worst season in franchise history, Ntilikina racked up four DNP-CD’s in December — including on Christmas after his mother flew in for the game. The Knicks are expected to shop Ntilikina this summer and it’s hardly a ringing endorsement when the owner of the team — James Dolan — let’s out an audible sigh when asked by ESPN Radio why he didn’t fire Phil Jackson before making the draft pick.

The Knicks could trade Ntilikina in the offseason and there was a market ahead of the February deadline. They didn’t bite on previous offers, but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. A source told the Daily News that GM Scott Perry, who was hired after the Knicks drafted Ntilikina, approached a member of the Hawks front office to test his appetite for a deal before the February trade deadline. The Hawks, however, have Trae Young and weren’t interested.

Ntilikina has seen his production wither over the last few weeks, with his playing time drawn down too. He’s been moved from the wing to the point and back, and fallen into a shooting slump, hitting 33.3 percent of his shots this season. Still, teams remain curious about the 2017 lottery pick, who is raw offensively but already a stout, long-limbed, defensive player who has shown advanced skill there. The Magic have shown interest in the 20-year-old, according to a league source, with a scout in Philadelphia last night watching him. “He’s intriguing,” a different scout said.

There are other risks, too. For example, how will Mudiay’s presence affect Ntilikina’s development? Perry was adamant with reporters that the Knicks remain high on Ntilikina’s future (the team, according to league sources, rebuffed numerous trade proposals for Ntilikina prior to Thursday’s deadline). They think Mudiay and Ntilikina can share the floor, which they did for 28 minutes in Mudiay’s Knicks debut Sunday against the Indiana Pacers (to the tune of an impressive plus-8.9 net rating, per, in a 121-113 loss).

Hornacek said Ntilikina’s early fragility has not diminished his excitement over his basketball IQ – essential for a point guard. Of course, Hornacek likely is torn since he coached Bledsoe in Phoenix and admitted he was “great for us’’ there. “We brought him in to develop him,’’ Hornacek said. “When he doesn’t have the injuries, he’s a smart kid. Tell him once, he’s got the plays. He’s got to battle these nagging injuries. We want him back as soon as possible so we can play him.”
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December 5, 2019 | 11:07 pm UTC Update

Rockets to file official protest

The Rockets prepared to file a protest of Tuesday’s loss to the Spurs, a person with knowledge of the team’s plans said, with an argument that will cite the James Harden dunk that did not count as an example of a “misapplication of rules.” It will also cite subsequent errors in officials’ failing to grant a coaches’ challenge, though the primary argument is with points not being awarded following a made basket.
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December 5, 2019 | 10:32 pm UTC Update
Former President Barack Obama is now officially a resident of Martha’s Vineyard, after having closed on the Edgartown estate of Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck. The 29-acre Edgartown property on Turkeyland Cove Road was purchased by Turkeyland Cove Nominee Trust for $11.75 million, according to Dukes County Registry of Deeds records. The property had been on the market for $14.8 million, and was assessed at $15.1 million.
Storyline: Real Estate
December 5, 2019 | 8:30 pm UTC Update
December 5, 2019 | 7:20 pm UTC Update
December 5, 2019 | 6:02 pm UTC Update
Walton, who now coaches the Sacramento Kings, had adamantly denied wrongdoing — claiming Tennant, was the person who initiated their meet-up, insists it was “platonic” and nothing sexual ever occurred. Now, Tennant has filed new court docs calling off the suit — asking a judge to dismiss with prejudice, which means she can’t refile it. Unclear if Walton and Tennant struck a settlement — but it’s not uncommon in situations like this.
The Boston Celtics’ disastrous 2018-19 season came to an end on a Wednesday in May. The dejected squad dressed quietly in a Milwaukee locker room, then flew back to Boston the next morning. A few players talked to the media, but they didn’t have any answers. Nobody really did. The next morning, Celtics assistant coach Tony Dobbins got a text: Could he get to the practice facility? Jaylen Brown wanted to get in the gym.
Part of Brown’s urgency was due to his schedule. He had a trip to Egypt planned, and he wanted to make sure he got in the gym before he left in case finding a gym overseas proved difficult (ultimately, a basketball star doesn’t have much trouble finding a place to workout, even in a foreign country). But one thing was clear: After enduring one of the strangest seasons in recent NBA memory, Brown didn’t want to waste time.
December 5, 2019 | 4:37 pm UTC Update
December 5, 2019 | 2:18 pm UTC Update
Welcome to the opening weeks of the NBA’s coach’s challenge. ESPN asked head coaches from almost half the league’s 30 teams for their input on the challenge system. The views ranged from hostile to constructive, but there wasn’t an endorsement to be found. But for all the frustration and bewilderment the new rule has created across the league, don’t expect it to go the way of the NBA’s synthetic basketball.
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
Even still, Ellis is fine with all that. Those who remember and appreciate how good he was, what he meant to the organization, they remember. Those who don’t, that’s fine, too. Peace won’t let that bother him. Because he remembers. “Everything, even through my bad times, I still enjoyed it,” Ellis said in a phone interview this week of his time with the Warriors. “Because at the end of the day, they gave me my shot. They took a chance on drafting a high schooler, 152 pounds of out Jackson, Mississippi. … So I was always grateful and thankful for that. It went down the way it went down. I guess that’s part of the business. And it just happened the way it happened. But my whole experience, the time that I was there for seven and a half years, I loved every bit of it.”
When the Warriors drafted Curry, a player just as slight as him, Ellis didn’t think it could work. And he said so, which created controversy. He laughs about it now, that character trait of his that stirred that pot. Ellis doesn’t talk much. But when he does, he says what he believes. And the straight-talking young man from the Dirty South only knew one way to tell it. “I ain’t gon’ lie,” he said over the phone. “I’ve done some things when I was young that bite me in my butt. But it is what it is, a part of life. “Just some people didn’t take, when they ask me an opinion, they didn’t really want to accept the reality of it, the truth. Because, you know, I don’t know how to be fake with nobody.”
He was getting dressed in the visiting locker room at Arco Arena, ready to take on the Kings, when Dominic McGuire broke the news to him. He saw it on the ESPN ticker on the locker room TV. Ellis was traded to Milwaukee. Just like that, he was no longer a Warrior. He was pissed. “Not only so much that they traded me,” Ellis remembered, “just how they went about trading me. If they would’ve traded me and let me know the process of everything that was going down, it would’ve been a whole lot better. I mean, that was a career-changing experience right there. ‘Cause when I went to Milwaukee, it was totally different.”
Matt Babcock, owner of Babcock Hoops and a former NBA agent, told The Commercial Appeal that Wiseman having to sit out one-third of Memphis’ regular season isn’t all that significant from an NBA draft standpoint. “It’s not like he’s a guy that just has a lot of upside with a lot of polishing to do. He’s ready to play in the NBA right now,” Babcock said. “Not that he doesn’t have room for growth. He does. (But) I think it’s more of just he’s being robbed of the experience.” Babcock believes Wiseman (who is tied with North Carolina’s Cole Anthony as FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds-on favorite to be picked first) is worthy of No. 1-pick status. But the games he will miss could also cost him the opportunity to cement himself as such.
Storyline: No. 1 pick
December 5, 2019 | 10:43 am UTC Update
Two specialists told The Post that Irving is likely to be out a few more weeks. One medical source not affiliated with the team intimated there’s more under the surface and that this injury could be even more long term. “That’s a very, very broad term,” said Dr. Andrew S. Rokito, chief of shoulder surgery at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. “Impingement typically does not refer to an acute injury. [It] refers to more of a long-standing, chronic issue with the rotator cuff.
This will be the sixth consecutive season with fewer post-ups than the last, and 2019-20 is on pace for the largest post-up drop-off in more than a decade. The reasons for the play’s excision are all tied together, a result of both rule and strategic changes that have encouraged the rise of Moreyball. (Another fun excerpt from that 2015 Lowe column: He wrote that the post-up death “evokes both wistfulness for the past and a fear that the NBA is heading toward a homogeneity in which every team drives for corner 3s, layups, and free throws. What happens if we all play Rocketball?” Welcome to the NBA in 2019!)