Report: Orlando has shown interest in Frank Ntilikina

Frank Ntilikina is clearly not progressing on the offensive side of the floor the way Knicks management and fans, alike, would hope to see. The French guard (wing?) has scored in double digits only three times in the 23 games he has played this season. He is shooting 33% from the field, down from an unimpressive 36.4% last season.

Of course, he continues to play strong defense, but his minutes have been sporadic, as Fizdale turns to Emmanuel Mudiay and Allonzo Trier (who people forget is nearly three years older than Frank, despite being a rookie). Some are questioning whether the Knicks have cooled their excitement about Frank’s future.

Apparently, that has not slowed other teams from around the league in taking notice of Ntilikina.

According to Mike Vorkunov, Orlando has shown interest in the 20-year-old who can defend at a high-level; they had a scout in attendance for the Knicks game in Philadelphia.

“He’s intriguing,” a different scout told Mike Vorkunov

Why this Matters: As great as Ntilikina can be guarding the basketball, he needs to eventually show some life on the offensive side of the ball, proving his perimeter shot is a strength instead of a promise never realized. It is difficult to fully evaluate Frank’s progression this season in a rotation that is constantly changing, not just in the minutes allocated, but the positions assigned.

I need to see more of Frank as the primary ball-handler, doing what is expected this season, playing through the ups and downs, on a nightly basis, as a young point guard. This is just for the Knicks to evaluate what they have in their lottery pick. Meanwhile, it is refreshing to see other teams remained intrigued by his talent, because it offers you a glimpse outside of the Knicks’ bubble.

Could Orlando simply be checking in on someone they consider a low-end prospect? Perhaps. But I suspect other teams would be “intrigued,” as the one scout put it to Vork, by a 20-year old guard who can defend all spaces on the floor.


  1. Orlando needs a distributor and a defender. I think it’s too early to give up on Frank unless you’re getting a good return. He’s on a rookie deal and the Knicks have him under control for 2 more years. This team’s not going to the playoffs, what’s the rush? His value is too low right now to make a deal.


    1. Well, that’s the other side of it. Whether you trade him or not is one thing, but as you say, what’s his value right now? I think it’s still relatively high, considering he really hasn’t shown much offensively, but I would wait, too.


  2. Far too premature to trade Frank, what good business is trading a top 10 pick 20 games into his sophomore season given the current trajectory the Knicks are on?

    Detach the draft status from him, he still offers something in his defense that few other Knicks can do. He may never live up to the lofty lottery status, but he has a damn good chance of being a contributor to a solid team, and that’s before his offense makes any sort of improvement.


    1. I think detaching the draft status is the key point. You can’t evaluate a player based on where he was drafted, and instead, just evaluate him for who he is. I definitely think people add pressure on Frank’s development because of where he was drafted. Good point.


  3. No you don’t need to see him more as a primary ball handler bc he’s more than enough opportunities on the ball & has never progressed. This is a matter of lack of athleticism & flat out inability to beat defenders off the bounce. Frank simply cannot attack the rim & put pressure on the D. Stop coddling him & tell it like it is!


    1. Hey man, you might be right in the end. I still want to see what he can do, given more opportunities, and given his age, but right now, there isn’t a lot of evidence to prove me right, yet.


  4. You can’t say you’re committed to player development from a front office standpoint or ok with a rebuild from a fan’s perspective and already be ready to dump Frank. Is he the missing piece, probably not, but he can be a valuable piece at some point


Leave a Reply