Since he set foot in the league, New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina is yet to prove that he deserved to be selected as the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Ntilikina has gone through plenty of ups and downs in his first three years in the NBA, and rumors have been swirling around him and his future with the Knicks since the 2019 NBA offseason. However, with his former agent, Leon Rose of Creative Artist Agency, currently serving as the team’s president of basketball operations, there’s a glimmering hope that Ntilikina could still be the Knicks’ point guard of the future.
Though his statistics in the ongoing season aren’t impressive, Ntilikina has shown that he is capable of taking the role as the Knicks’ starting point guard on several occasions. In their 122-115 loss to the Washington Wizards, when he played 30 minutes, Ntilikina established an incredible performance on both ends of the floor, finishing with 20 points, 10 assists, and two steals while shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 60.0 percent from beyond the arc. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Rose is currently in “full evaluation mode” and will use the remaining games of the 2019-20 season to determine whether they will trade Ntilikina this summer or make him part of their rebuilding plans.
“What to do with the 21-year-old Ntilikina is now one of Rose’s many decisions to make as he takes charge of the Knicks’ future. In training camp, Mills exercised the fourth-year option on Ntilikina’s rookie contract for 2020-21 at a cost of $6.1 million. Rose is said to be in full evaluation mode, and Ntilikina’s recent surge of aggression will give Rose something to think about as he considers whether to put Ntilikina on the trading block this offseason. The organization still believes they need a starting point guard and is honing in on the position in the 2020 draft.”
As of now, most people inside the Knicks’ organization are starting to notice improvements in Ntilikina’s game, including interim coach Mike Miller. Miller admitted that he has seen some positive changes with Ntilikina on the court, especially with his aggressiveness in penetrating the basket and making good plays for his teammates.
Ntilikina has a huge potential to become successful in the NBA. However, whether it would happen in New York or not remains a big question mark. Despite establishing an impressive performance in their game against the Wizards, Miller is still using Ntilikina off the bench as his primary backup for veteran point guard Elfrid Payton.