The Knicks will make Frank Ntilikina available in trade talks and are willing to move him if they can get a first-round pick in return, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. “The Knicks will be active on draft night,” the source predicts.
Berman adds that New York would gladly include the second-year guard in a package to acquire Anthony Davis from New Orleans, but the prospect of any first-rounder may be enough to get a deal done as the Knicks look to remake their roster this summer.
However, it’s not certain that anyone will part with a first-round pick for Ntilikina, who was the seventh player selected just two years ago. He has played just 41 games this season because of injuries and hasn’t established whether he fits as a point guard, a shooting guard or a combination of the two.
Ntilikina wasn’t included in a conversation with Hall-of-Fame point guard Jason Kidd when he addressed the team Wednesday in Phoenix, Berman notes. Kidd talked at length with Dennis Smith Jr. and Emmanuel Mudiay while Ntilikina stood a few feet away.
Another source that Berman spoke with believes the Knicks would be giving up on Ntilikina too soon.
“Don’t they have to see what they have first?” the source said. “If he turns into a bust as a lottery pick, fine. But they do not know that yet.”
Ntilikina hasn’t played since late January because of a groin strain that was originally projected to take a week or two to heal. Three days after the injury, New York traded for Smith, who appears to have the starting point guard role wrapped up.
The Knicks are committed to Smith moving forward and are still debating whether to try to re-sign Mudiay, adds Berman, who states that the only way plans will change is if they can attract Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker in free agency. Fizdale plans to use Ntilikina as a wing when he returns and his future in New York remains very much in doubt.