It’s no secret that the Knicks have been attempting to pull point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers. This comes after an offseason of making few moves and losing Derrick Rose to that same team. Recently, Carmelo Anthony said he would no longer be willing to drop his no-trade clause for Cleveland, which means that the Knicks may have to drop out of their race for Irving. Without Rose and Irving, the Knicks will need someone to fill their starting point guard position. Their big play may be to put 2017 8th overall draft pick Frank Ntilikina at the helm. The big concern is whether or not Ntilikina would be ready to take over that role.
Ntilikina isn’t the only option the Knicks have, but given the alternatives he may just be the best. The Knicks recently signed veteran point guard Ramon Sessions to a one-year deal. Sessions, over the course of his career, has averaged just over ten points per game and would provide a veteran voice in the locker room. Ntilikina could probably play as his backup for the first half of the season until he gets his NBA legs under him. Recently re-resigned Ron Baker would more than likely play third string point guard for the team. Yet, with the Kyrie Irving’s, Russell Westbrook’s, and Stephen Curry’s out there, the Knicks are going to need a little more than Sessions if they want to compete. That little more may be Ntilikina.
Not a lot of Knicks fans know about the young French floor general, which is unsurprising. Ntilikina jump started his career in Europe before putting his name in for the NBA draft. At his age he still has plenty of potential to get better. Standing at 6’5″ with a 7-foot wingspan, he is athletic, fast, and versatile. He doesn’t give up on defense and is a dynamo on offense. He has both a shot and handles, which will allow him to use his length against smaller guards. He can take it to the paint as well as play around the perimeter. A simple search on YouTube will reveal how legit he is. This kid could be something special for New York.
Of course, schooling guys in Europe is one thing. This is the NBA. Ntilikina will have to face bigger, better, and stronger players than the ones he used to play with while being part of SIG Strasbourg. Not wanting to take anything away from him, he is still not tested as far as the league is concerned. Suffering a knee injury early on, Ntilikina didn’t really play in this past summer league. Knicks fans will have to wait for the preseason before they can see the young player in action. With the Knicks with their backs to the wall during this upcoming season, there are high hopes that the young player doesn’t disappoint.