BOOM. Here’s Marc Berman of the New York Post to disturb your peaceful pre-draft slumber:
With Thursday’s draft night approaching, Ntilikina could still be on the move as the Knicks are extremely open to trading him for another draft pick – either a late first-rounder or second-rounder.
You may be thinking, “Where have I heard this before?” The answer is, from Berman, last month.
However, this time around, SNY’s Ian Begley has hopped in to give his own intel on Berman’s report, adding a little fuel to the fire that Frank may not be a Knick much longer:
It’s logical to think that there are no players on the Knicks roster who are off limits when it comes to potential trades, but 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina is one player who members of the organization are open to listening to offers on, sources confirm.
Ntilikina has been a part of trade rumors for several months. It is unclear what the Knicks would be looking for in return for a Ntilikina deal, but the New York Post, which first reported the Knicks’ willingness to move Ntilikina, says the club is looking for a late first or second-round pick.
Now, there’s some parsing to do with the verbiage here between the two reports — Berman says the Knicks are “extremely open” to dealing Frank, whereas Begley simply says New York is “listening to offers.” Berman’s report implies the Knicks are shopping Frank, whereas Begley’s basically says they’d entertain trading him for the right price (which should be the case for basically anyone on the Knicks not named Mitchell Robinson, if we’re being honest).
However, there’s really no denying that trading Frank for a late first or second rounder could be considered an objective failure of a return for a guy that was taken with the No. 8 pick just two years ago. Is that on Frank? The organization? David Fizdale? Phil Jackson? Isiah Thomas? Who knows, man. The Frank saga has been a frustrating one, both for his supporters and his detractors.
Supporters see a player with unreal physical gifts (6-foot-6 with a wingspan over seven feet, and he may not be done growing) and an extremely versatile skillset that needs to be given room to grow on the offensive end (where he has been objectively terrible). Plenty of people (myself included, at times) think that Frank has just been halted by injuries and mismanagement and needs patience.
Detractors see a player who hasn’t done anything to earn time on the court due to those offensive woes, plays too tentatively and should basically be shot to the moon (or traded for a second round pick, if he’s even worth that).
Whatever your feelings on Frank, it’s starting to feel like it might not matter as of tomorrow night. Considering this rumor has been floated since at least the trade deadline, there’s certainly a lot of smoke to suggest that Ntilikina won’t make it out of the 2019 Draft as a New York Knick. Luckily, we’re just over 24 hours away from being able to put this story to bed, one way or the other.