New York Knicks: Five potential trade destinations for Frank Ntilikina

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

Teams reportedly have interest in Frank Ntilikina. Who can the New York Knicks shop him to?

Chris Vernon of The Ringer reported on one of the website’s podcasts that the New York Knicks were “out” on Frank Ntilikina, but without indication of if the organization wanted to move him elsewhere.

However, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (subscription required), the Orlando Magic were noted as an interested teams, with others across the NBA also liking the sophomore player. The Knicks selected him No. 9 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Ntilikina wasn’t picked by the regime of general manager Scott Perry and president Steve Mills. Does that make him more susceptible to a deal?

If so, there are potential options for a move. Which teams make sense as a trade partner?

5. Orlando Magic

It starts with the aforementioned Magic, who were the only team named by Vorkunov. They already played the New York Knicks twice in 2018-19, so they have as good a look as most teams over the past six weeks.

If Orlando were to acquire Ntilikina, he joins a veteran backcourt with questions of its future, aside from Evan Fournier and his three years left; they have Terrence Ross on an expiring contract, DJ Augustin starting and Jerian Grant as a backup.

Ntilikina may not be a point guard in New York, but he can take this role down the line with the Magic, given they no longer have a long-term option, as Elfrid Payton didn’t pan out and they passed on a point guard in the 2018 NBA Draft.

A different situation and offense could benefit Ntilikina where he doesn’t face as much public pressure as New York. There’s little of this in Orlando, which has stayed under the radar since Dwight Howard‘s departure in 2012, aside from multiple head coach changes.

A trade can see Grant’s expiring deal and a protected first-round pick go to the Knicks for Ntilikina. It’s not great value for a former top-10 pick, but he’s still young enough to garner a higher selection, even if it’s a protected pick that’s not seen for two or three years.