Do you like French point guard Frank Ntilikina? Many folks on our staff do. And even ESPN’s kinda-employee Chad Ford has him mocked to the Knicks with the No. 8 overall pick in this week’s draft. (Insider only, but trust me—it’s Frank)
But here’s where things get a little bit weird. Ford has also stated that the Dallas Mavericks, who pick one spot behind New York at No. 9, are enamored with the young Gallic guard—so much so that they hired Ntilikina’s coach at Strasbourg to work the bench for their Summer League squad.
Frank Ntilikina's coach at Strasbourg, Vincent Collet, will coach with the Mavs Orlando Summer League team - Dallas all in on Ntilikina— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 19, 2017
And apparently the feeling is mutual:
Knicks have strong interest in Ntilikina too. Mavs have done a better job recruiting and building relationships. He wants to be in Dallas— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 19, 2017
A few things of note here:
- It’s easy to imagine pretty much any other team building a better relationship with a player than the Phil Jackson Knicks.
- As the draft order currently stands, it doesn’t really matter how good a relationship Dallas has built with Ntilikina: If the Knicks want him, they’ll have him.
- The Timberwolves, picking 7th, are the big X-factor here. Minnesota could very well trade up with Dallas and grab a tasty little morsel.
- The Knicks could also grab Ntilikina and deal him to Dallas for the 9th pick and an asset. This would net New York the biggest gain, so it’s probably the least likely scenario.
What do y’all think?