Knicks Rumors: Search for second-round pick is at Frank Ntilikina’s expense

The New York Knicks are searching for a second-round pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and it will likely come at the expense of Frank Ntilikina’s tenure.

Phil Jackson’s last first-round pick as president of the New York Knicks was Frank Ntilikina. Before free agency could arrive, the franchise cut ties with the legendary coach, opening the door for a new regime to take over.

Ntilikina stayed with the Knicks, but his two years proved disappointing, whether with offensive issues, injury woes or David Fizdale benching him. It long placed him at the center of trade rumors.

Well, with the 2019 NBA Draft a short time away, New York is prepared to move the 20 year old. SNY’s Ian Begley first reported this to happen as soon as Thursday, with a second-round pick as the asking price.

The Athletic’s Michael Scotto followed with the Knicks looking to purchase another second-round pick, as they have the full money allotment to make this happen.

However, if the Knicks net a second-rounder for Ntilikina, it might not necessitate another pick in the back half of the draft, unless they want a fourth pick. As of this writing, they own the No. 3 and 55 selections.

The talk for Ntilikina in exchange for a draft pick dates back to May. Nothing came to fruition, of course, but there are 29 opportunities to receive a second-rounder for him.

The Frenchman will make $4.85 million in 2019-20. He also owns a team option for 2020-21, which must be decided on this fall, so whichever team takes him will have up to two years of control, topping out at $6.17 million.

As for potential teams interested, none have been rumored, but the Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls also sit within the first 10 second-round picks.

Either way, it seems Ntilikina’s short and disparaging tenure with the Knicks will end at the draft. Sometimes, players thrive with a change of scenery, and that is possible with the former No. 8 overall pick. It seems the front office at least wants to move on, and after the events of 2018-19, it might be best for both parties.