Cover Photo: Getty Images
On Monday, Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina announced he was hiring a new agent. With that news came along conflicting reports as to whether or not he wants out of New York.
Of course, this is nothing new, as the 20-year-old French guard has heard rumblings of a potential trade for the past year or so. The former No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ntilikina is still on his rookie deal and, interestingly enough, is the highest-paid player currently on the Knicks' roster under contract for next season.
With New York rumored to be looking for a late-first round or early-second round pick in exchange for Ntilikina, here are three likely landing spots if the Knicks do indeed try and make a move.
3. Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns arguably need a point guard more than anyone in the league, and while Ntilikina might not be the star starting point guard they're looking for, he could be an excellent addition to this young Suns team. Phoenix was also ranked 27th in defense last season, so adding Ntilikina could be a huge help in that area as well. While the Suns don't have a pick in the back end of the first round in the 2019 NBA Draft, they do hold the second pick of the second round (32nd overall), which could be enticing if the Knicks strikeout on teams with late first-round picks.
2. Utah Jazz
This would be quite the scenery change for Ntilikina, but it could be a great basketball fit. The Jazz's starting point guard, Ricky Rubio, is expected by many to walk in free agency, which would leave a hole at point guard for this young and defensive-focused team. Ntilikina could add his elite perimeter defense to a team that already has one of the NBA's best rim protectors in Rudy Gobert. The Jazz have the 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, so that checks off what the Knicks are apparently looking for.
1. San Antonio Spurs
It's been heavily reported that the Spurs, and specifically Gregg Popovich, have long been interested in Ntilikina. In fact, his name even popped up during Kawhi Leonard trade talks prior to his being shipped to Toronto. Popovich has always loved young international prospects that defend well, have good passing ability and, above all, play hard, unselfish basketball. While Ntilikina has had his fair share of shortcomings in his career, he certainly checks all of the boxes that Pop looks for in a player. The Spurs also hold the 19th and 29th picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, making them a viable trade partner for the Knicks.
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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.