New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina’s fit with teams in draft asking price

New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With the New York Knicks seeking a late first-round pick or an early second-rounder for Frank Ntilikina, how does he fit with these teams?

While the New York Knicks remain attached to Anthony Davis, they have a player of their own to potentially move this offseason. Per Marc Berman of the New York Post, it is Frank Ntilikina, the often speculated player of the 2018-19 season, who endured injuries and questionable on-court play.

Ntilikina went through a groin injury in January and returned in March, only to re-aggravate it. Along with failing to stick in head coach David Fizdale’s rotation twice, the sophomore campaign was a difficult ride.

Finding a new destination for Ntilikina might not be hard, given his age and ability to rise from underwhelming stats this early into his career. However, as Berman noted, the Knicks want a late first-round or early second-round pick.

Can New York attain this for their No. 1 2017 pick? Whether they do, the fits for the bottom of the first and the top of the second exist, but how does each team from No. 26 to 35 stack up as a potential suitor?

Cleveland Cavaliers: No. 26

The Cleveland Cavaliers own two first-round picks, the second of which will land at No. 26. They have a long journey ahead to rebuild and become a playoff team, as they were throughout LeBron James‘ two stints.

Without one of the NBA’s greatest players ever, the Cavs need everything. They selected Collin Sexton in 2018, and their first 2019 pick lands No. 5, but even if someone capable of playing the backcourt arrives with the top selection, Frank Ntilikina is still an option.

Cleveland is a low-risk destination. It is years from contention, potentially with another high pick for 2020. They have few long-term parts as is, so Ntilikina, if he joins them, has the opening for ample playing time; he did with the New York Knicks, but not being a product of this regime is a factor.

Point guard is taken by Sexton, but the Cavs can experiment with Ntilikina off the ball, as the Knicks did this past season. This did not pan out, due to struggles handling the basketball, penetrating and acting as an open-shot threat.

However, Ntilikina is just 20 years old and has development ahead. Maybe he finds this part of his game, and the state of Ohio makes plenty of sense for it to happen in.