Even though rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina endured a rocky first year with the New York Knicks, there is still plenty of reasons for optimism–about both the player and the team as a whole.
While the Knicks are seemingly heading into a rebuilding season, they still feature plenty of youth on their current roster. Kristaps Porzingis, the franchise cornerstone, is still just 22 years old–even though he might miss most or all of the 2018-19 season as he rehabilitates a torn ACL.
Ntilikina and the player the Knicks select with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft will form a nice nucleus that can build for the future. The Knicks have been linked to multiple prospects, and they have reportedly entered trading up higher into the lottery.
At just 19 years of age, Ntilikina is actually younger than many of the prospects that will be selected in the first round of the draft, including likely No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton. Ntilikina also boasted some of the best pick-and-roll defense in the league last season, which at least showcases a specialty going forward.
The Knicks will most likely look to add a perimeter player to compete alongside Tim Hardaway Jr. and Ntilikina. It is not entirely known if the Knicks view Ntilikina as a long-term option at point guard, or if they feel comfortable moving him off the ball to play more like Courtney Lee.
The Knicks have time, however, to figure out that predicament.
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