Storyline: Frank Ntilikina Trade?

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According to sources, Ntilikina’s skill as a pure point guard is something Mills and Perry have debated. Mills was part of the Phil Jackson braintrust that drafted Ntilikina eighth — ostensibly as a perfect Euro fit for the triangle offense that has been disbanded. According to a source, Mills was adamant Ntilkina being untouchable at Feb. 8’s trade deadline. But Perry, concerned about Ntilikina’s penetrating prowess, pushed to add Mudiay.

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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 NBA.com, 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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