With the point guard position battle becoming somewhat of a joke for the New York Knicks, they must find value where there currently is none. Dennis Smith Jr. has the potential to develop into a good player, but his first preseason game was nothing but disappointing as he made just one shot from the field.
Frank Ntilikina was once again ineffective on the offensive side of the ball, earning just one basket on four attempts over 21 minutes. Both players struggled mightily, and veteran Elfrid Payton has also been quiet in his first games with the Knicks. The position is seeming to be one of weakness, and Ntilikina surely isn’t providing any significant value to help push him over the trade-rumor hump.
Should the New York Knicks trade Frank Ntilikina?
Realistically, getting any value from Ntilikina, who seems to only show up on defense, is the best move at this point. Despite making a few solid defensive stops towards the end of the game in the loss to the Hawks on Wednesday, he contributed in allowing Trae Young to thrash the Knicks for 23 points and nine assists.
Rumors of the Detroit Pistons having an interest in Frank should be a glowing light at the end of a rather disappointing tunnel for the Knicks. Yes, some players take time to develop into their own, but the issues for the Frenchman are purely fundamental. He lacks consistency driving to the hoop and doesn’t have the strength to muscle his way into the paint. Ntilikina is a smooth player that ultimately lacks the hit-rate from the field and succession in the paint to be a quality player in the NBA.
Some things you cannot teach, and it seems as if Ntilikina will forever be plagued by his inability to score. He’s currently averaging 5.3 points per game over 21 minutes in the preseason, which is incredibly low, considering this is the period where teams are testing different players and schemes.
If the Knicks could find a suitor willing to part with a second-round pick, they shouldn’t even think twice about taking it.