Knicks Notes: Ntilikina, Randle, Anthony, Robinson

The Knicks have 15 days to decide whether to extend Frank Ntilikina‘s rookie contract, but the 22-year-old guard still doesn’t have an established role with the team, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Given Ntilikina’s uneven NBA career so far and the logjam in the team’s backcourt, Berman believes a trade before the March deadline is more likely than an extension.

Ntilikina brushed off questions about a possible new deal, saying, “The business part is going to take care of itself. I’m here to get better every day, to get this team better.’’

Ntilikina’s chances to prove himself to new coach Tom Thibodeau might be limited. Elfrid Payton, who started the most games at point guard for the Knicks last year, re-signed during the offseason. Dennis Smith Jr. is also back, and New York added Austin Rivers in free agency.

“We have a lot of guards on this team, a lot of competitors, which is going to bring the best out of the team,’’ Ntilikina said. “We’re going to compete hard for minutes and the coach is going to decide what he wants to do. We have trust in him. He knows what he’s doing. He knows his job. So he’s going to put the best players together on the court.’’

There’s more from New York:

  • Julius Randle isn’t concerned that the Knicks used their lottery pick to add Obi Toppin, a player with similar skills who may eventually replace him at power forward, Berman adds in a separate story. Many observers don’t think Randle and Toppin can be effective playing together, but Randle insists they’ll find a way. “He’s an athletic player from what I know,’’ he said. “I haven’t seen much of him. But he can shoot it and run the floor. So I think we’ll be able to complement each other very well. The game is position-less now. To have many guys be versatile and do many things is great.’’ 
  • Team president Leon Rose reportedly had interest in bringing Carmelo Anthony, one of his former CAA clients, back to New York, but Anthony didn’t consider the move once it became clear the Knicks were going to continue with their youth movement, Berman writes in another piece“They are rebuilding and figuring out what’s in their near future,” Anthony said. “It was me personally wanting to be part of a situation I was already comfortable with (in Portland). I just finished playing with these guys two, three months ago. I felt it was the right fit at this point of time where I’m at right now this particular year.’’
  • Mitchell Robinson is moving on to his sixth agent as he enters his third year in the league, according to Berman. Robinson is leaving Klutch Sports to sign with the Wasserman Group.
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54 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Ntilikina, Randle, Anthony, Robinson

  1. steve dolan

    Celtics, please stay clear of Frank Ntilikina. The guy will probably become available soon due to the logjam of point guards on the Knicks, but he just plain can’t shoot.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Ntilikina is a lottery level talent, and a team with good player development like Utah or San Antonio will scoop him up for the minimum and make the rest of the league look dumb.

      When are people going to realize that the Knicks – and a lot of other teams – aren’t bad at *drafting* but *development*.

      • The Knicks may be bad at developing talent, but Frank not being able to shoot or pass has a lot to do with his lack of success.

        • Jason Lancaster

          Rookies learn to pass and shoot on other teams. You can’t tell me that all the lottery picks NY has drafted are all bad.

        • andremets

          Frank can pass and defend. His shot will continue to improve. His free throw percentage drastically improved already. His biggest issue is staying healthy.

      • Jason you’re wrong. Either a guy can play or he can’t. There is a small degree of Truth to player development of course… but you can’t turn a guy from a non-player to a player.

        Look at Markelle Fultz. The guy is an incredible athlete, can jump out of the gym, has speed and quickness, and is just physically incredible. What is the guy a basketball player? Barely.

        • Jason Lancaster

          Ya, tell that to Siakam, Anunoby, Kwahi Leonard, and 100 other guys who all came into the league raw.

          Player development is a huge part of the success that teams like utah, San antonio, Indiana, Portland, Denver etc have had. Knicks draft picks suffer from unreasonable expectations, inconsistent coaching, and non-existent player development. it’s the main reason that they have not had a good draft pick in the last 20 years.

          • Jason Lancaster

            Well, I should say New York has not had many good draft picks. There have been a couple of good players.

            • That’s exactly what I’m saying, we’re probably on the same page. You can’t take a guy like Frank Ntilikina and put them on the Jazz or the Spurs and turn him into a starter in the NBA. You have to draft guys who you can develop. They have to have the ability in the first place.

          • Those guys you mentioned had ability. I mean watch them play, you can tell they are players. They did not go from non players to guys who knew what they were doing out there.

            You’ve got to draft guys who you can develop. Guys that are raw but have ability to play the game.

        • siggers84

          Have you seen Fultz play for Magic or are you referring to his time with the 76ers. He’s a good point guard. Definitely a basketball player. He needs more work on his shot.

          • Whenever I’ve seen fultz play, he’s been marginally effective but a crazy incredible athlete. I don’t know if he’s a good basketball player yet. I think he relies on his athleticism to get a steal here and there or use his quickness to Hound a ball handler. Running the offense though, and initiating plays and driving to the basket to create openings for his teammates … I’m not sure he’s arrived as NBA starting-caliber point guard yet.

      • heisenberg58

        I know. I’m waiting for Frank to get scooped by a team that knows what it’s doing. People don’t realize how Frank’s presence on the court significantly improves the overall team defense. Moreover his offense is improving, especially at the end of last season. He attacked the basket and finished more and his last game of the season was a 20 point game.

  2. Sillivan

    The way Rose manages would take 3 more years to make playoffs and 6 more years to pass the first round playoffs

  3. hoopstalk

    when was the last time Berman properly critically analyzed basketball (rhetorical)?

    Frank is g league? Ok. Name a g leaguer who could defensively check Kemba in FIBA, and the likes of Lillard and Luka as regular season assignments. 4 coaches in 3 years. Let Thibs cook with the right rotations that balance offense and defense. Frank, Burks, RJ, Toppin, Mitch.

    • Nbabrothers

      That’s a good starting lineup! Obi Toppin has to start as well as Mitchell and RJ. Everyone else should be fighting for the sf or Sg spots (whichever RJ is. Ot playing).

    • Frank’s numbers show him as one of the worst players in the league. He made a marginal improvement last year but in his first and second seasons, he had a legit argument as the worst player in the league who got decent minutes.

      I don’t like Berman and think he needlessly stirs up controversy, but he’s right here. The best things you can say about Frank is that he occasionally plays good defense, shoots free throws well, and has shown flashes of being serviceable.

      Things Frank can’t do well: shoot (spot up, off the dribble, you name it and Frank can’t do it), pass, create shots for himself, create shots for others, run the offense, play consistent defense, etc. This is his fourth year in the league and he’s not much better than his first year.

      After this season, he may get a chance on another team but he will be out of the league before you know it.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Like I told you before. Have you ever watched Knicks play. I don’t even want Nttilikina on my team. But he is got enough game to be a rotation guy. He’s 22 and can guard any guard today. What he’s not is consistent. That’s cause no help on development. And happening on biggest stage. Not really for a young guy. The day he starts for another team. You remember me.

    • I'm a starboy not a Dr...

      Not a single title contender or super good team would want Ntlikina as their starting point guard. Not the lakers, bucks,sixers, nuggets,blazers,clippers,celtics,nets,raptors,pacers!

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Berman is a Knick hater. Cause he gets plenty of hits and blitz that way. A lot of the media use this gimmick. Especially espn and all who need numbers. Then you get the bandwagon fans pile on. In an age of so much information at your fingertips. You’d think people would find out truths for themselves.

  4. Sillivan

    6 point guards
    Starter Quickley or Harper
    Point guards Bench
    Payton
    Rivers
    Frank
    Point guard reserve
    Alex Bucks

  5. Nbabrothers

    We should start this lineup and just run with the youngest starting lineup probably in history:
    Pg- Quickley
    Sg-RJ
    Sf-Kevin Knox
    Pf- Obi
    C-Mitchell

  6. Nbabrothers

    Alan Hahn says this should be the starting lineup:
    Mitchell
    Randle
    Obi
    RJ
    Elfrid

  7. DeathbyDeathwest

    I’m a little surprised the Knicks didn’t try to consolidate Payton, Frank, and DSJ through a trade.

    Guess these guys don’t have any trade value.

    Considering the market for bigmen this off season, Randle probably won’t have a ton of trade value no matter how he plays up to the deadline.

    As long as the Knicks stay patient they should be okay in a few seasons, but Knicks gonna Knick at some point…

    • You should not be surprised. All of those players are terrible. The only reason anyone talks about DSJ or Frank is because they’re on the Knicks. A) the Knicks get tons written about them regardless of how bad they are and B) their roster is trash outside of a couple of players, so who else are they going to talk about?

      If either of them played for like Memphis or New Orleans, almost no one would know they existed.

  8. lebuck

    What happened to randle? He played well on the lakers and pelicans then regressed at New York.

    • Randle had a decent year stats-wise, but one of his biggest problems was that he spent too much time away from the rim and jacked up too many 3s.

      His last year with the Lakers he rarely shot 3s. Then in his year with the Pelicans, he started shooting three per game with an OK percentage. Last year, he was up to nearly four per game and his percentage plummeted to 28%. I don’t know how much of that was a factor of whatever system the Knicks ran, but he needs to stay close to the rim.

  9. Simmons>Russ

    Knicks should trade Juilius Randle and Ntilikina for Harrison Barnes.

    1. Rivers
    2. Barrett
    3. Barnes
    4. Toppin
    5. Robinson

    Barnes would be a good vet leader for this young team. He’s good at both ends of the floor, can give you some spacing and has playoff/championship experience. It also opens up more minutes for Toppin at the 4

      • Sillivan

        Kings are interested in Knicks own first round picks
        I’d trade Hield and Barnes for 2 Knicks unprotected Future Firsts and salary

        • andremets

          Omg, now I know your nuts. Why the hell would the Knicks do that? Those are likely two Top-5 picks.

  10. Meadowlark

    The Knickerbockers got exactly what they wanted when they picked Ntilikina … a guy named, “Frank”.

  11. Stevepas

    Considering the Knicks had some of the worst coaches I’m surprised our players can do anything. Once some of the players reach a good franchise they will get better.

  12. KnickerbockerAl

    This is for all the miss informed posters here. Talking smack and not liking someone is your right. Just like you may not like Westbrook. I’m a big Westbrook fan.
    You may not like him or want him for your team. But he is one of best of his generation. He plays both ways and has done stats no one in history has done. That’s just the truth . True Ball So >>> get informed
    This is for all the bandwagon haters here. Who can’t bother to look up stats. Or know the truth about talent.
    Nttilikina is 22 yrs old. He has been mismanaged for 3 yrs. Best thing they could of done for him. Is play him in NBDL for a yr or two. He’s had 4 coaches who cared about their anus not his. And all this under the biggest scrutiny in the NBA. Yet he was in the all rookie gm in all star. So the NBA thought he got talent. He’s avg 21 inconsistent mins a gm over three yrs. Three yrs of mismanagement. You can’t know that unless you watch the games. Over the Years, get it.
    He’s a career .786% FT shooter. That is the biggest tell if he can shoot. Last yr he shot .86%FT . Only the best shoot over .85 % FT. If you know ball you know that. Frank only takes 6 shots a game. His FG is .366%. This means bad shots are in there. Bad decisions bad offensive scheme. He shoots .311% from 3PT. Anything over .33% is considered descent. Yes his shooting is not great. But it’s not awful. And looking at his FT shooting. He can definitely improve. And there is a good reason why his FG is low. Which can be fixed by consistent mins and better decisions. This is all about developing young talent. Something Knicks have failed to do. Yes some of this is on Frank. IMO NYC is too intense for some young guys. Especially when the team doesn’t do their job. Watch him this yr. Cause under Thibs since Frank plays D. He will improve a lot. He will get more consistent mins. Now I know half you here don’t know what defense in the NBA means. But if you look at every champion in the history of the gm. 90% of them were in top 10 or better in team D. If you know and watch talent. You can see Frank easily can do that, a TEAM guy. So for the geniuses who think he is out the league. You are only showing your lack of knowledge of talent. He’s 22 and will get better. Especially when he leaves the Bright lights. I’m just here to inform. Don’t get why people who probably never even played. Or really care about the sport. Think they got answers about a talent they don’t watch. Just here to teach ….. U Wellcome

  13. x%sure

    “Mitchell Robinson is moving on to his sixth agent as he enters his third year”

    This is not a good sign. And Randle’s comment suggests he has no plans to play center.

    Talking about Frank all the time, year after year, is maybe a good strategy, if someone must absorb all the angst, and if Frank does not read English to read it all.

  14. Ant1485

    If you have to develope a player then that means they are not ready especially if your drafting them in the top 20. On top of that they are being paid millions and they can’t play. Guys should be coming into the league with some sort of game. In NYC this is what we call dead weight. I get it Frank skill set is D. As with other nba players all you can do is work on perfecting your game. (In games & off season). Bad management and scouting is to blame for drafting players within the top 15 and you have to develop. Save them for the 2nd round. you gotta know talent and one way to determine that is to be a ball player yourself. I see scouts in the league that never played ball before or played against any competition there could be a space for frank but that is coming off the bench as a defensive player, not as a starter. If the Knicks scout and draft right we won’t have to work on developing a player game. I would not waste my time on guards who can’t shoot ft or don’t have a handle, or don’t have a jumper. Not saying they don’t belong in the league but certainly not in the first round. Same thing with big me who can’t rebound, block shots or shoot in the first round..

    The Knicks have starting players but on other teams would be coming off the bench with Rj being questionable

    Right now my starters will be:
    Quiggley or Payton at pg
    Burks at Sg
    RJ at sf (but he gotta get a jumper )
    Right now Randall but will consider Toppin for his shooting and spacing at PF
    Mitch at center

  15. DreJuice

    All you guys talking about frank, he’s a good player offensively and defrnsively. Player developmrnt is exactly what he needs, his shot its to flat, he needs to project more arc with a straighter elbow and use more risk. DEVELOPMEMT. REMEMBER- these players doug christie,trevet ariza and jamal crawford to name a few all products of the Knicks organization went on to other teams and developed into NBA players

  16. I’ve wanted to get rid of Randle since before the Knicks signed him. He was pretty much a known commodity around the league – not a PF, but a back up C – with only Mills/Perry not getting the memo.

    I could see Randle being effective off the bench as a second unit C for a contender, in much the way that Harrell is (although they are not identical players, they have similar strengths and weaknesses, with the caveat that Harrell knows what they are). The issue is his salary and expectations. But those tend to mean less after an in season trade if a player has an (effectively) expiring deal.

    • The more and more I read your posts DXC@, the more and more I like what I read. You really seem to know what you’re talking about in the NBA. Good stuff bro.

  17. Raddude

    I think he did ok in FIBA against Kemba didn’t he? Funny how good he was then……

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