Despite some recent chatter about teams with interest in second-year point guard Frank Ntilikina, Marc Stein of The New York Times gets the sense that the Knicks aren’t actively exploring the trade market for the 20-year-old. While New York will almost certainly be willing to field inquiries on Ntilikina, there’s a difference between listening and shopping, Stein observes.
While Ntilikina recently fell out of the Knicks’ rotation for three games and has struggled immensely on offense, he’s coming off one of the best games as a pro, as he scored a career-high 18 points in just 20 minutes on Sunday. If he can produce anywhere close to that level on a more consistent basis, he’ll likely secure his place as a long-term building block in New York.
Here are a few more trade-related rumors and notes from around the NBA:
- In a podcast discussion about the Kings, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst suggested that Sacramento could actually be buyers, rather than sellers, at the trade deadline, since the team has exceeded expectations and doesn’t have its own first-round pick this year. “Sacramento is not incentivized to lose,” Windhorst said, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net. “If anything, Sacramento will be gunning to think they have a chance to make the playoffs. Sacramento is actually one of the teams I’ve heard is out there on the trade market looking to improve itself because they have no incentive to tank.”
- Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer explores a few potential trade options for the Rockets, arguing that the team needs wings and forwards with size and experience. O’Connor lists James Johnson, DeMarre Carroll, Markieff Morris, and Jeff Green as some veterans that could appeal to Houston.
- With the Pelicans playing in Boston on Monday night, Anthony Davis trade speculation has been a popular subject so far this week. Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com explained why those whispers aren’t going away anytime soon, while Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry made light of the topic by joking with Celtics GM Danny Ainge about it, as Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald relays. As for Davis, he once again dismissed that chatter, telling Bontemps that he’s just focused on getting New Orleans back into the playoffs and making a deeper run than last year.
- In an excellent, Insider-only breakdown for ESPN.com, Bobby Marks takes a team-by-team look at the trade market, identifying trade candidates, restrictions, and much more.