Knicks Trade Rumors: Frank Ntilikina Could Move for 1st-Rounder at NBA Draft

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17:  Frank Ntilikina of The New York Knicks looks on during the NBA London game 2019 between Washington Wizards and New York Knicks at The O2 Arena on January 17, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The New York Knicks will consider moving point guard Frank Ntilikina during the 2019 NBA draft if they can net a first-round pick in return, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

"The Knicks will be active on draft night," a source told Berman.

Berman notes that Ntilikina would be made available in any potential trade package for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis. 

It was less than two years ago that New York took the international star with the eighth overall selection in 2017. However, the former lottery pick has yet to live up to his potential in the Big Apple.

After averaging just 5.9 points as a rookie last season, Ntilikina is averaging 5.9 points on 34.2 percent shooting in 2018-19. Meanwhile, a sprained left ankle and a groin injury have limited him to just 41 games this year.

He has not appeared in a game since Jan. 27 due to his groin injury.

At this point, Ntilikina may be an afterthought for the Knicks following the midseason acquisition of Dennis Smith Jr., whom the team passed over in 2017. With Smith excelling in New York (15.1 PPG and 6.4 APG in 14 appearances), head coach David Fizdale and Co. may be ready to move on from Ntilikina.

There are some, though, who believe it is too early to give up on the 20-year-old guard.

"Don't they have to see what they have first?" an NBA source told Berman. "If he turns into a bust as a lottery pick, fine. But they do not know that yet."

New York (13-52) has already been eliminated from postseason contention, so it needs to be careful with Ntilikina down the stretch. Playing him could increase his trade value, but rushing him back could risk further injury.

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