Frank Ntilikina‘s name has come up increasingly frequently in trade rumors in recent months, with Ian Begley of SNY.tv writing that the Knicks talked to at least one team prior to the draft about trading the former No. 8 overall selection in a deal for an early second-round pick. The Knicks have also discussed moving Ntilkina for a late first-round pick, Begley adds.
Still, Ntilkina remains under contract in New York for now, and told reporters – including Begley – this week that that’s just fine with him.
“I’m happy to be a Knick,” Ntilikina said. “I still take as much as I can get from every situation that I can. I’m in their jersey. I’m happy to be a Knick. I’m happy to be here. I’ll work very hard to make this situation successful.”
Assuming the Knicks don’t move Ntilikina before the season begins, he’ll once again face plenty of competition at the point guard spot in 2019/20. Dennis Smith and Kadeem Allen will be back, with Elfrid Payton entering the picture as well. Head coach David Fizdale had Ntilikina play minutes at the two last season, so we’ll if the team tries that again next year.
Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York franchises:
- Russell Westbrook isn’t currently on the Knicks‘ radar, a person familiar with the situation tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. If Westbrook remains on the trade block on December 15, when New York’s offseason signees become trade-eligible, the Knicks could explore that avenue, but the team doesn’t plan on doing so for now, says Berman.
- In an interesting piece for Sports Illustrated, Chris Mannix offers some behind-the-scenes details on the Nets‘ pursuit of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. According to Mannix, the Nets’ medical staff did all the research they could on Durant’s Achilles tear, but had limited information from afar. Days before free agency, GM Sean Marks gathered them and asked for a show of hands on who would be in favor of committing to Durant on a four-year, maximum-salary deal. Every hand went up, per Mannix.
- After signing a new two-year contract with the Nets, Theo Pinson is making his case for a regular-season roster spot, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Pinson’s new deal has a second-year team option, notes Keith Smith of RealGM (Twitter link).