Knicks rumors: Team is ‘out’ on Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

According to Chris Vernon of The Ringer, the New York Knicks are “out” on Frank Ntilikina.

In October, New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale made it a point to praise Frank Ntilikina and his defensive ability. When speaking with Howie Kussoy of the New York Post, Fizdale explained that “Frank’s going to guard everybody. You can already see where I’m going with him. With Frank, I’m trying to develop a first-team all-defender.” That development of Ntilikina may need to take place in another uniform.

According to Chris Vernon of The RInger, people in the Knick organization are “out” on Ntilikina. During their visit to Memphis — where the Knicks defeated the Grizzlies — Vernon asked members of the organization about the young players on the roaster.

As expected the brass praised both Allonzo Trier and Mitchell Robinson and expressed concerned for Mario Hezonja. Vernon added that while Kevin Knox has struggled during the season, the Knicks still have faith in his ability. That is not the case with Ntilikina (40:01):

"“I hate to report this to Knick fans, everyone I talked to was out on [Ntilikina], and it’s quick. He’s not a point guard, they’ve been playing him at backup shooting guard, and he hit some shots early in the season, but the kid can’t shoot. And it was not a good report.”"

The criticism of Ntilikina’s game is nothing surprising. It is concerning that members of the Knicks organization are also echoing those same concerns. This comes on the heels of Ntilikina posting zeros in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks against the aforementioned Pistons. Ntilikina recorded his fourth zero point game of the season — his third when playing over 14 minutes.

General manager Scott Perry did not draft Ntilikina; however, Perry refused to include him in a swap his own draftee Elfrid Payton last season. The Knicks even showed some confidence in Ntilikina by picking up his third-year option. Somewhere along the line, Ntilikina has soured on members of the team brass.

During the 2017 NBA draft, there was a reported “split” in the organization between Ntilikina and Donovan Mitchell, who was selected by the Utah Jazz. Ntilikina was the choice for Phil Jackson, who was later fired by the organization. Mitchell has taken the NBA world by storm, in the meantime.

It isn’t clear if the Knicks will look to move on from Ntilikina this soon into his career. They have already received called on their other sophomore player in Damyean Dotson after a solid start to the season. Could pairing both together fetch the Knicks a player that can help in the short and long-term?

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For Ntilikina, his New York Knicks tenure is on the line. Both Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke have progressed in their time with the team. Mudiay’s ability to finish around the rim and Burke’s offensive efficiency have both improved. If Ntilikina doesn’t boost his play, his next major moment in the Garden will have to come as a visitor.