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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Hawks Trae Young (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Hawks Trae Young (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Hawks: No. 35

The New York Knicks actually reached out to the Atlanta Hawks for a Ntilikina trade before February’s deadline, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. It obviously did not work out, but the Hawks still have the draft compensation potentially desired.

No. 35 sits at the end of the late first and early second range. It is high enough to become an acceptable return for Ntilikina, as falling lower than that makes value questionable.

The Hawks are in their own long rebuild. They have two top-10 picks and just added Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman in the 2018 first round. That hardly stops the adding talent road, as young talent is still a need.

If Atlanta sees Ntilikina as a point guard, it won’t make sense to take him when Young is there. If not, they can mix and match him in lineups and see what works for the next one or two seasons. There is little risk in this, as the Hawks remain a distant player for the playoffs, barring rapid steps in development for who’s in place.

With this 35th pick, the Knicks can land 20 picks ahead of their Houston selection. It is high enough to find a player that fell out of the first round or someone with questions on their game, like Purdue’s Carsen Edwards or Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who met with New York at the combine.

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This pick is a prime spot for the Knicks. Will the Hawks actually move a draft choice at this stage of their rebuild, though? That, and their interest in Ntilikina, makes or breaks this scenario.