New York Knicks: Five biggest storylines for 2019 offseason

Kevin Durant Warriors Kyrie Irving Celtics (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kevin Durant Warriors Kyrie Irving Celtics (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks have no games remaining to play. Which storylines will take over their 2019 offseason?

After a 17-65 season, the New York Knicks have no more games to play. It was a year of trial, tribulation, controversy and lackluster performances. However, it’s over and the organization can shift to its potentially exciting future.

The NBA offseason has arguably become more interesting than the regular season, given the standard Golden State Warriors run to the NBA Finals and no one else able to defeat them. For the Knicks, after the events of 2018-19, there is little doubt the summer will provide interesting storylines that trump anything seen for the last six months.

The draft and free agency headline this, and storylines are guaranteed to arise from this. What else might overwhelm the next five months?

Let’s look at the top offseason storylines for the Knicks, whether or not any of them will transpire:

5. Is Frank Ntilikina already done with the Knicks?

Frank Ntilikina joined the New York Knicks in the final days of Phil Jackson‘s tenure as president of basketball operations in June 2017, when it was all about fitting the triangle offense. Scott Perry and Steve Mills took over the front office and kept the Frenchman, but that did not keep him out of the headlines negatively.

Ntilikina’s first year was quiet but showed occasional upside. The sophomore campaign had expectations for growth, except it became anything but that, with sluggish shooting performances, landing in head coach David Fizdale’s doghouse, facing trade rumors and suffering two groin injuries that basically wiped out his second half of the season.

That only increased the noise of Ntilikina’s potential departure, with a draft timetable in June, when the Knicks can acquire pick compensation for the 2019 selection show.

Of course, the possibility remains that New York does not find a suitor, and keeping Ntilikina on a new-look team at least provides a defensive stopper to use 15-20 minutes per game. However, in a year to determine who fits and who does not, he did little to prove the former.

Maybe, no one offers the Knicks a first-round pick for Ntilikina and he stays for a third season. He can rebound from a difficult year, and he will play at just age 21. Then comes the question: will the front office exercise his fourth-year option before the 2019-20 season starts?