New York Knicks: Ranking every NBA Draft Lottery pick

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /

6. Frank Ntilikina (2017)

A pick fresh in New York Knicks fans minds, Frank Ntilikina went eighth overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. The lottery odds opened at seventh, so they fell one spot before making this pick.

Ntilikina entered the NBA with physical upside and defensive prowess, but a developmental project otherwise offensively. The 6-foot-6 frame and seven-foot wingspan were apparent from the start with how he defended opponents, and that earned him minutes.

On the popularized side of the ball, Ntilikina has shown little to nothing. Something cracked through near the end of 2017-18, but he seemingly went backward in 2018-19. Scoreless games and lacking confidence cratered his stock, leading to head coach David Fizdale dishing absences via his decision and accompanying trade rumors.

Along with injuries that hampered half of Ntilikina’s season, it hurt his value and standing in the 2017 class, but one which features Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson in the top five, all of whom have struggled.

Ntilikina’s Knicks tenure may have finished with the 2018-19 season. Wherever he continues his NBA career, shedding the “bust” term, even at age 20, is imperative. A longer chance might have happened in a smaller market, but the Frenchman’s play has been magnified enough to paint a negative picture of his two NBA years.