The New York Knicks were engaged in plenty of free agency rumors in regards to potential signings this offseason, but one player, in particular, was being shopped for draft picks.
The Knicks 2017 first-round pick has struggled immensely in the NBA since his inception. He has averaged 5.9 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game over two seasons. However, at just 21 years old, there is plenty of optimism surrounding the French-born player.
Ntilikina has been no stranger to rumors this off-season, as the Knicks were asking for draft picks in return for the elite defender. Ideally, they would have earned a first or second-round selection, but his struggles have lowered his value exponentially.
Are the New York Knicks done giving Frank Ntilikina chances?
One factor to consider when looking at Frank’s numbers is the groin injuries he has dealt with which have certainly hindered his ability on the offensive side of the ball.
His weak jump shot and perimeter game have forced more challenges upon the young point guard. While his offense has been horrendous, his defense is one of the strong points of his game. Unfortunately, quality players at the professional level are capable of playing both sides of the ball. The Knicks didn’t hesitate to bring in more point guard depth this off-season, signing Elfrid Payton, formerly of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The expected starter for the 2019-20 season is Dennis Smith Jr. Payton is expected to be the reserve option behind Smith Jr., while Ntilikina sits in the number three spot.
Frank must show a new side of himself if he wishes to earn more minutes on the floor. Increasing his aggressiveness towards the hoop and developing a more consistent jump shot are two parts of his game, he must elevate.
Adding even more veteran depth in Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris, and Reggie Bullock provide the Knicks with plenty of options to play. The third-year player could be buried on the roster and only play minimal minutes for his defensive qualities. In other words, his chances are dwindling, and he needs to take it vantage of what could be his final opportunity to prove his worth.