As Knicks fans debate whether Frank Ntilikina is the next great Knick or complete bust1, reports have surfaced that several teams are interested in the young point guard.
The Phoenix Suns seem to have the strongest interest.
Ian Begley reports that Phoenix reached out to the Knicks earlier this year about Frank.
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
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 30, 2018
This is not the first time Phoenix has kicked the tires on Ntilikina. Back when they were looking to deal Eric Bledsoe, Frank’s name came up. As Ian Begley reported last October:
The Phoenix Suns’ focus in talks with the Knicks recently has been on Frank Ntilikina – not Willy Hernangomez — league sources told ESPN, but the Knicks remain uninterested in dealing their rookie point guard.
Of course, Bledsoe ended up in Milwaukee and Willy Hernangomez would eventually be traded by the Knicks.
The Suns even tried to get their hands on Ntilikina during talks about a possible Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving trade in July 2017.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 21, 2017
Besides Phoenix, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports that Orlando and an unnamed team have interest in Frankie Smokes.
The Magic have shown interest in the 20-year-old, according to a league source, with a scout in Philadelphia last night watching him.
“He’s intriguing,” a different scout said.
In addition to Phoenix and Minnesota, Ian Begley, who is as reliable as any reporter on the beat, reports that Brooklyn has interest in Ntilikina. However, both Nets Daily and Brian Lewis of the New York Post are reporting the Nets do NOT have interest.
The Brooklyn Nets also expressed interest in Knicks’ second-year guard Frank Ntilikina, per sources. https://t.co/pRvPBE3DJb
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 2, 2018
What this all means: Plenty of teams see the upside in a young guard who can defend all positions on the floor, and if given the opportunity, could perhaps be a lead guard in an offense where he doesn’t need to be the focal point to make a contribution.
Phoenix is clearly interested in pairing Ntilikina with Devin Booker as a perfect combination of offensive firepower and defensive acumen. We will see if the Knicks continue to be patient with their former lottery pick who has struggled to start this season. The front office held strong last October, making it known that they would not include Ntilikina in a blockbuster trade. We will find out if anything has changed since then, after another full season of evaluation.