The age of Frank Ntilikina has finally come to an end for the New York Knicks, who selected him 8th overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Funny enough, Ntilikina signed a fresh contract with the Dallas Mavericks this past week, who were also intrigued by the French native in that draft class.
During his time in New York, Ntilikina failed to establish himself as a primary point guard in one of the most hostile markets. He averaged just 5.5 points over four years, never hitting double-digit numbers in the category. He also only recorded 2.7 assists per game and shot 36.7% from the field. His playing time dropped off significantly during his final season with the Knicks, playing in just 33 games and starting four. Despite his difficult experience, Ntilikina had nothing but good things to say about the fans in New York.
Frank Ntilikina posted a heartfelt message to Knicks fans after signing a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks:
4 years, 4 years already… I remember the day of the draft like it was yesterday, One of my childhood dreams then became reality.
Playing for the Knicks has truly been a blessing and an amazing experience. You welcomed a kid who just left home in order to pursue his dreams and goals, and to continuously grow. I could not ask for more.
I would like to thank the entire franchise, the coaches, players, all members of training and medical staff and all the people who work hard every day for the success of this organization over the years.
Last but not least, to all the Knicks fans around the world… Thank you ! The support has been amazing from day 1.
Wins and losses, highs and lows, we have all seen one thing for sure, and that is that the passion and the love for basketball stays unbeaten through it all.
I am leaving now to open a new chapter in my journey, forever grateful for the opportunity.
The French Prince ðŸ‡«ðŸ‡·ðŸ‘‘
Julius Randle raves about RJ Barrett’s growth:
All-Star power forward Julius Randle has taken on a leadership role ever since he took a huge step forward in his development last year. Randle was the offensive leader on a team that desperately needed a star to take control and has since fueled the hungry organization in search of prolonged success.
Part of his leadership role is to help his teammates continue developing and staying proactive. Working closely with RJ Barrett has been a necessity for Randle, and he had nothing but great things to say about his growth and what makes him a unique talent.
â€He just keeps improving. You can tell the guys who really love the game and dedicate themselves to their craft; heâ€™s one of them.â€
During Barrett’s second season last year, he saw improvements in nearly every category, averaging 17.6 points, 3.0 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and shooting 44.1% from the field. He saw an 8% increase in his three-point shooting, elevating it to 40.1%. His free-throw shooting also saw a 13% increase to 74.6%, and with his talents in the paint, getting to the free-throw line is a byproduct.
The duo of Randle and Barrett has the potential to be elite, and this upcoming season should see even better chemistry and flow between the two.