The Frank Ntilikina situation in New York is a bit odd, and as such, some teams are reportedly interested in seeing whether it’s possible to acquire the second-year guard at the NBA’s trade deadline. Ntilikina has seen his minutes get reduced as the season has gone along, and has even received four DNP-CDs this year.
It is a bit strange that the Knicks, which are building towards the future and hope to be major players in free agency this offseason, wouldn’t want to get as many reps as possible in for a talented 20-year-old guard who needs some polish. With this in mind, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports that some teams have tried to gauge the availability of Ntilikina, with the Knicks apparently having a debate over whether this is an option worth pursuing.
Bondy went through some Knicks players that could pique the interest of other teams as the Feb. 7 deadline approaches. When it comes to Ntilikina, it turns out the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns, two point guard-starved squads, have reached out to gauge his availability.
“Despite the Knicks’ clear lack of confidence in Ntilikina, teams have inquired about the 20-year-old, with the Magic and Suns expressing interest, according to a source,” Bondy wrote. “And this is where it gets interesting. There seems to be a debate within the Knicks on whether to deal Ntilikina. He was drafted by Mills and has supporters in the front office. But, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, Perry, who took the job after Ntilikina was drafted, recently approached the Atlanta Hawks to gauge whether the team was interested in dealing for the guard (Hawks have Trae Young and weren’t interested).”
The detail about Young is fascinating, of course, but the fact that Orlando and Phoenix have reached out about Ntilikina is no surprise. Ntilikina would give both teams much-needed point guard help, and would get the chance to cut his teeth in places that aren’t as cutthroat as New York. As for whether this comes to fruition, well, we’ll get an answer sometime in the next few weeks.