Will Frank Ntilikina be dealt before the February NBA trade deadline?
Frank Ntilikina entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the hope of making a huge impact for the New York Knicks. However, despite getting a starting role, the 20-year-old point guard has been a huge disappointment and failed to live up to expectations from a former No. 8 overall pick. In the 23 games he has played with the Knicks this season, Ntilikina is only averaging 5.9 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 rebounds on 33.3 percent shooting from the field, and 25.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Despite his poor performance, there are still NBA teams who see a potential in Frank Ntilikina. On Twitter, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic revealed that five NBA teams have expressed interest in trading for the Knicks’ sophomore guard. These include the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Orlando Magic.
“Have heard that Minnesota also has interest in Frank Ntilikina, along with the Magic.
@SBondyNYDN reported that the Grizzlies have inquired about the Knicks PG, and @IanBegley reported that the Suns reached out to the Knicks to express interest in him.”
Since losing Brandon Knight in a deal with the Houston Rockets, the Suns are active on the trade market, searching for a starting-caliber point guard. Frank Ntilikina may have gone through some ups and downs in his second year in the NBA, but according to a Twitter post by Ian Begley of ESPN, the Suns are intrigued by the idea of pairing the former No. 8 overall pick with the face of the franchise, Devin Booker.
Frank Ntilikina is only 20-years-old, which makes him fit with the timeline of Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton, the two key players who are expected to lead the Suns back to title contention. Unfortunately, Begley revealed that when the Suns inquired about Ntilikina earlier this year, the Knicks told them that they have no intention to move the young point guard before the February NBA trade deadline.
“Phoenix is among the teams who reached out to NYK to express interest in Frank Ntilikina. When PHO contacted NYK earlier in the year, NYK said it wasn’t open to moving Ntilikina, per ESPN sources. Some w/Suns were intrigued w/idea of pairing Ntilikina & Devin Booker, per sources.”
Like the Suns, the Orlando Magic are also in a chase for a starting caliber point guard. As of now, the Magic are relying on 31-year-old D.J. Augustin to run the point. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies and the Nets already have reliable point guards in Mike Conley and D’Angelo Russell, but they could use some help in their second unit. It remains unknown why the Timberwolves are interested in making a deal with the Knicks involving Frank Ntilikina. They already have veterans Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose, and a young floor general in Tyus Jones.
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