With the 2019 trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Knicks will surely be looking to unload some of their unwanted players. But who exactly the front office considers “unwanted” is a matter of much debate.
To that end, other teams have been calling the Knicks about Frank Ntilikina, the underachieving second-year guard who has held a tenuous grip on a rotation spot most of this season. Per Stefan Bondy:
Despite the Knicks’ clear lack of confidence in Ntilikina, teams have inquired about the 20-year-old, with the Magic and Suns expressing interest, according to a source. And this is where it gets interesting. There seems to be a debate within the Knicks on whether to deal Ntilikina. He was drafted by Mills and has supporters in the front office. But, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, Perry, who took the job after Ntilikina was drafted, recently approached the Atlanta Hawks to gauge whether the team was interested in dealing for the guard (Hawks have Trae Young and weren’t interested).
Boy, there’s a lot to unpack here! The Suns and Magic are perhaps the two most point guard-needy teams in the NBA, so they are logically going to be turning over every stone in hopes of finding a good deal. Neither team is a contender, so taking on a young project like Frank would make some sense for them.
What’s more disturbing — and flat-out weird — is this report that Scott Perry went to the Hawks to gauge the market for Frank. I mean, why the Hawks? They appear to be set at the point guard position. Is Perry trying to market Frank as an off guard? And is Frank really that low in the GM’s estimation?
We still have a little less than a month left until the deadline. Will the Knicks unload their older players, or are they really willing to give up on the 20-year-old Ntilikina? Time will tell.