Knicks Trade Rumors: Frank Ntilikina Targeted by Magic

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 16: Frank Ntilikina #11 of the New York Knicks reacts during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on November 16, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

If the New York Knicks are ever willing to field trade offers for young guard Frank Ntilikina, the Orlando Magic may be among the teams in the bidding.

According to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, "Teams remain curious about the 2017 lottery pick, who is raw offensively but already a stout, long-limbed, defensive player who has shown advanced skill there. The Magic have shown interest in the 20-year-old, according to a league source, with a scout in Philadelphia last night watching him."

In New York, head coach David Fizdale is still experimenting with the rotations and playing time for both the team's young guns and more seasoned veterans. In the process, the 20-year-old Ntilikina is averaging just 5.9 points and 2.7 assists in 23.1 minutes per game.

A number of guards have seen playing time for New York this season, including Damyean Dotson, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay and Ron Baker. And with Courtney Lee set to return from injury at some point as well, New York's guard rotation isn't wanting for options.

So Ntilikina continues to fight for playing time, though it's hard to imagine the Knicks would give up on him so soon. At the very least, he still projects to be an excellent defensive player on the perimeter.

Ntilikina would fit with the vision of Orlando general manager John Hammond, who has targeted size and length for the Magic in the team's rebuild. The 6'6" Ntilikina would certainly check that box on the perimeter, though questions remain if he'll ever develop a perimeter jumper.

His 30 percent shooting from three to this point in his career remains a concern, as does his 35.7 percent shooting from the field. There may be a role for a defensively solid, playmaking point guard in the league, but Ntilikina's upside is tied to the consistency of his jumper.