NY Knicks: 3 ways Frank Ntilikina can become NY’s version of Marcus Smart

Frank Ntilikina, Marcus Smart, NY Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Frank Ntilikina, Marcus Smart, NY Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Frank Ntilikina, Marcus Smart, NY Knicks
Frank Ntilikina, Marcus Smart, NY Knicks (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

While watching one of my favorite NBA YouTuber, Rusty Bucket’s video on the impact Marcus Smart has for the Celtics on a nightly basis, it made me think about how the NY Knicks have their very own version of him in Frank Ntilikina.

In no way, shape, or form am I saying that Frank Ntilikina is as good as Marcus Smart, but the intangibles are there, he just needs to further develop them.

During the 4 years he’s been in the NBA, his development, or lack thereof has had a lot to do with the turmoil that the Knicks have faced in the time since he’d been drafted.

Multiple front offices, several head coaching changes, coaches being fired mid-season, no real focus on developing young players, and the Kristaps Porziongis trade that the Knicks won by the way…

Paired with being a player who was a raw talent to begin with and was going to require a ton of TLC to reach his ceiling…it was a recipe for disaster.

Can Frank Ntilikina become a player similar to Marcus Smart for the NY Knicks?

Even with all that said, you could argue that Frank Ntilikina is still a top-10 wing defender, and with some time and attention, I believe he really can become everything Marcus Smart is for the Celtics today.

Seeing how Frank wasn’t traded at this year’s deadline along with reports that Coach Thibodeau
has privately said he can develop into a future cog for Knicks, it’s likely that the Knicks will be bringing him back depending on what he’s offered elsewhere on the open market.

As many know, Frank is going to be a restricted free agent come the summer, so I figure the Knicks were better off not competing with themselves and allowing him to test the waters while knowing they can match anything sent his way if they do so choose.

Right now, and looking into the future, it doesn’t seem that there’s much room for the Frenchman within the Knicks’ 10-man rotation, but I think that if Frank is given the same consistency across the board that Marcus Smart has been afforded throughout his career he can turn into a valuable asset later on down the road.

Here are 3 ways I believe Frank Ntilikina can become NY’s version of Marcus Smart.