Knicks Trade Rumors: Frank Ntilikina Shopped to Hawks Before Deadline

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 19, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)    Frank Ntilikina #11 of the New York Knicks in action against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2019 in New York City. The Rockets defeated the Knicks 114-110. 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 Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina's two-year NBA career has included injuries, a head-coaching change, position switches and losing seasons.

That's quite a stretch for a young player, but Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News noted that it could have included a trade as well.

Bondy reported Tuesday that Knicks general manager Scott Perry gauged the Atlanta Hawks' interest in Ntilikina before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. However, Atlanta was not open to a move.

Ntilikina, whom the Knicks picked eighth overall in the 2017 draft, is averaging just 5.9 points on 35.6 percent shooting and 3.1 assists in 119 career games.

He's 94th among 97 qualified point guards in ESPN's real plus-minus. Furthermore, his 6.2 player efficiency rating is the third-worst mark in the league among players who average at least 20 minutes, per Basketball Reference.

Ntilikina's trade value isn't high right now, even if won't turn 21 until July. However, the Knicks could look for other suitors down the line, especially considering Bondy's aside about Perry inheriting the point guard from an old regime.

Perry is trying to shepherd the Knicks away from the Phil Jackson era, during which Kristaps Porzingis and Ntilikina were presumed to lead the team into the future. That clearly isn't the case anymore. Porzingis is now a Dallas Maverick, and Ntilikina could soon be headed elsewhere.

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Furthermore, Ntilkina isn't playing much under head coach David Fizdale, falling out of the starting five in mid-November and averaging just 21.3 minutes during the 2018-19 season.

With the Knicks set to move into a more competitive era—assuming they can land marquee free agents with their 2019 cap space—New York's roster will look much different next year. Although the Hawks reportedly aren't interested in him, Ntilikina may yet end up in another uniform before next season begins. 

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