Tag:

Frank Ntilikina

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Wednesday's game didn't provide much clarity in the Knicks' starting point guard competition.

Dennis Smith Jr. was out of rhythm in his preseason debut, shooting 1-for-5 in 20 minutes. Elfrid Payton was a DNP, by design. And Frank Ntilikina defended well but didn't provide the offensive spark that David Fizdale said he's looking for in his starting point guard.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks come up short vs Hawks 00:01:44
David Fizdale, Julius Randle and Frank Ntilikina on the Knicks 100-96 pre-season loss to Atlanta

The Knicks fell to the Atlanta Hawks, 100-96, on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game...

1) David Fizdale started Dennis Smith Jr. at point guard, as the coach said before the game that he wanted to mix up the starting lineup. Smith Jr.'s night did not get off to a great start, as he quickly picked up two fouls in the first three minutes, finding himself back on the bench in a hurry. Frank Ntilikina was then called upon off the bench. Like Smith Jr. though, Ntilikina was not very impressive. The duo combined for just six points. Meanwhile, Elfrid Payton did not play. Ntilikina did come up with a pair of key defensive plays in the game's fiinal minutes. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

When Dennis Smith Jr. takes the floor on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks, the stakes will be a little higher than your average preseason game. His performance in the Knicks' final two preseason games will factor heavily into who New York starts at point guard on opening night. Smith Jr. -- who missed the Knicks' first two preseason games with a back ailment -- is competing against Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina for the starting position.

On Wednesday, New York will get a chance to evaluate Smith Jr.'s new shot for the first time in a formal game setting. They'll also see how he plays with a lighter frame.

Below, Shawn Farmer, Smith Jr.'s former trainer and an ex-pro himself, discusses Smith Jr.'s shot, his new frame and some other topics, including the NCAA recruiting scandal: 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Knicks prep for pre-season game 00:01:03
David Fizdale, RJ Barrett and Frank Ntilikina on points of emphasis in practice ahead of Wednesday's night's pre-season game vs Atlanta

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

We'll learn a lot about the Knicks starting point guard position this week (more on that below), but don't be surprised if you see RJ Barrett handling the ball at times for New York. 

"I've thrown him at that position a couple times already," David Fizdale said Tuesday. "He played some of that in college. I think it adds another layer to how dynamic he can be. Especially having somebody that big that can switch things do some different things defensively. So yeah, I'll sprinkle that in."

Fizdale has mentioned Barrett, Julius Randle and Marcus Morris as potential non-point guard ball-handlers in his offense.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry speak to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry speak to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If you've seen LeBron James' comments on the NBA-China controversy (and the reaction to those comments), you know that the ripple effects of Daryl Morey's tweet in support of demonstrators in Hong Kong will be felt for some time. 

There's plenty to unpack with this story: free speech issues, the NBA -- and many other companies -- conducting business with a country that critics say has a history of oppressing dissent, and the potential financial fallout for the league and its players from losing revenue from the business they do in China. 

It's way too early to predict how much revenue the league may lose in the aftermath of last week's events. But the lost revenue -- if it's high enough -- will have a tangible impact on the Knicks. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks on roster changes 00:01:21
Knicks coach David Fizdale and forwards Julius Randle and Kevin Knox talk about this year's roster coming together

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Dennis Smith Jr. is expected to make his preseason debut on Wednesday against the Hawks, which adds a layer of intrigue to the Knicks' starting point guard competition.

Smith Jr. missed New York's first two preseason games due to a back strain. He returned to practice over the weekend and, barring a setback, will make his preseason debut on Wednesday.

The Knicks had taken a cautious approach with Smith Jr.'s ailment.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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Oct 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Justin Anderson (7) dribbles the ball against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Justin Anderson (7) dribbles the ball against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Did Justin Anderson have any extra motivation against Marcus Morris and the Knicks on Friday night?

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. Obviously, there's been a lot of talk about (Morris hitting him in the head with the ball). My biggest thing is making sure I go out there and whatever opportunity I get, making sure I play hard defensively, compete defensively," Anderson said. "And offensively, I told my brother, I'm just trying to kill. So I'm glad I played that way and maintained my composure and handled it like class."

Anderson had 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench for the Wizards, who knocked down 46 percent of their 3-point attempts in a 16-point win. Earlier in the week, Morris was ejected from a game against the Wizards for hitting Anderson in the head with an elbow and then hitting Anderson in the face with the ball.  

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A day after Julius Randle responded to Kevin Durant's critique of the Knicks, teammate Marcus Morris chimed in. 


 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale plans to use several different lineups in the preseason. So we may see a different starting five when New York plays Washington on Friday at Madison Square Garden. 

But Fizdale gave some interesting insight when he answered a question about his starting lineup for Monday's preseason opener.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Frank Ntilikina
Frank Ntilikina

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Frank Ntilikina spent some time in Dallas over the summer, training for the NBA season and the FIBA World Cup. David Fizdale flew to Texas for a visit with Ntilikina in July. At one point, the coach shared a simple, poignant message with his young guard: "We've got a lot of confidence in you, play free, leave everything behind you."

Ntilikina seemed to do just that with the French National team. He started at guard for the club and his play -- which included a clutch performance against Team USA -- propelled them to a bronze medal in the World Cup.

"It gives you a lot of confidence," Ntilikina said of his World Cup success. "But I say now: it's a new start with a new team with the Knicks. So it's another competition."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Here are a few takeaways from the Knicks' 104-99 win over the Wizards:

MORRIS EJECTED: Marcus Morris was ejected 13 seconds into the second half for doing something you don't see often. First, he appeared to hit Justin Anderson, his defender, with an elbow when he swung his arms through to create space. That happens regularly in the NBA. Here's the odd part. He then hit Anderson in the head with the ball and started jawing with him. He received a flagrant-two, presumably for the whole sequence.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Fizdale announces starting five 00:01:25
David Fizdale announced his starting five ahead of the preseason matchup with the Wizards. Dennis Smith Jr. elaborated on his back injury.

New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Based on what we've heard from players at Knicks training camp, defense has been a priority this week. You'll get your first look at the Knicks' defense in action on Monday when they open the preseason in Washington.

Something to expect? Ball pressure. That's been a point of emphasis during camp.

"Me and all my teammates, we pay a lot of attention to pressuring the ball on defense. And not letting the opposing team be comfortable offensively," Frank Ntilikina, one of the team's top defenders, said Sunday. "So yes, you will see that from the Knicks."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Evaluating Frank Ntilikina 00:00:56
Ian Begley addresses the strong showing from Frank Ntilikina after a good summer playing for France. Also, Dennis Smith Jr. turned heads.

A lot has changed for Knicks PG Dennis Smith Jr. this summer. And it wasn't just his jumper. 

Smith spoke to the media at practice Wednesday, and he admitted being down about 15 pounds since the end of last season. The Knicks had told him to cut weight, and he did just that. 

Of course, that came with some food sacrifices.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Scott Thompson
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Frank Ntilikina ready for season 00:02:20
New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina feels some added confidence in his game after competing in the FIBA World Cup this summer.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Frank Ntilikina learned something important about himself during France's run to the bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup:

"How good I can be playing basketball," the guard said on Wednesday. "It's simple on both sides of the court. A competition like that brought me a lot of confidence."

If Ntilikina can play with the kind of confidence/competence in New York that he showed with the French National Team last month, maybe he earns a spot in David Fizdale's rotation.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Knicks hold intense practice 00:01:16
The Knicks held a very focused practice centered around defense and Mitchell Robinson let everyone know he's ready to shoot 3's.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

After working on his 3-point shot all summer, Mitchell Robinson plans to let it fly from beyond the arc this season. 

"Why work on something you're not going to use? I'm looking forward to it," the second-year center said after the first practice of Knicks training camp. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks front office speaks 00:02:21
New York Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry explain their offseason roster construction and why they missed on big free agents.

It's Knicks Media Day out in Tarrytown, NY, and it's also the first time team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry discussed their free agency moves. 

The result wasn't what Knicks fans were hoping for, as the superstars like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and others found their way to different teams. However, Mills and Perry had multiple plans in place if something like this were to go down. 

So the roster that they have put together with training camp kicking off tomorrow is one that they did envision when prepping for free agency.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets power forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets power forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Coming into the 2019-20 season, the New York Knicks have low outside expectations. A failed bid to sign superstar Kevin Durant as well as guard Kyrie Irving forced the Knicks to alter their free agent plans. They signed a pu pu platter of mid-tier free agents to short-term contracts that will allow them to re-enter free agency next summer.

The youth movement is underway in New York and many questions still remain about the direction the organization is heading in. The failure to sign any big name free agents has lowered the bar for the Knicks as a team. The need for in-house player development is more important than it has ever been for a franchise that hasn't re-signed a first round pick to a second contract since 1994 first rounder Charlie Ward.

Despite the expectations that the team will finish with one of the worst records in the NBA, there are still positives to look forward to for the upcoming season. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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David Fizdale
David Fizdale

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Knicks training camp has some intriguing storylines.

We'll all be keeping an eye on RJ Barrett, the position battles (Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton at point guard, for one), Mitchell Robinson's progression, Frank Ntilikina's status, etc.

It will be interesting to see who starts and who comes off the bench in preseason games and who earns a spot in the regular-season rotation.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Frank Ntilikina
Frank Ntilikina

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Prior to the NBA Draft this past June, the Knicks talked to several teams about trades involving Frank Ntilikina. One of those teams said New York discussed a deal that would have returned an early second-round pick for the guard, per SNY sources.

Obviously, the Knicks didn't end up with an offer that they liked for Ntilikina. But it seemed then that the organization was set on jettisoning the 21-year-old.

Has that stance changed over the last few months? That's unclear.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina played stifling defense and scored five huge points down the stretch as France pulled off a stunning upset over Team USA on Wednesday as they eliminated them from the FIBA World Cup.

The 89-79 win came in the knockout round, and Ntilikina was incredibly fired up after the final buzzer.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Danny Abriano
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Apr 7, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton (4) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports (Darren Yamashita)
Apr 7, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton (4) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports (Darren Yamashita)

With all the second-tier free-agent signees the Knicks brought in this offseason, the Magic's Aaron Gordon has one that he hopes thrives in particular. 

Elfrid Payton was sort of a under-the-radar signee with the likes of Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis joining the team as well. The Knicks already have Dennis Smith Jr. as well as Allonzo Trier, whose looking to follow up his stellar rookie season. And Frank Ntilikina is still looking to show the Knicks he was worthy of their first-round selection two years ago.

So it will be a battle to get solid minutes on the floor, let alone start for another former first-rounder in Payton. But Gordon, who was drafted just six picks ahead of Payton to the same Magic team, knows exactly what the point guard can bring to New York this season.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS -- Frank Ntilikina was visiting with the Knicks' Summer League team on Sunday night, unfazed by his involvement in recent trade rumors.

"I'm happy to be a Knick," Ntilikina told reporters at the Thomas and Mack Center before New York's overtime loss to Phoenix. "I still take as much as I can get from every situation that I can. I'm in their jersey. I'm happy to be a Knick. I'm happy to be here. I'll work very hard to make this situation successful."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Unless they want to renege on agreements with their new free agents, the Knicks can't complete a trade for Russell Westbrook prior to December 15. They only have $4 million in cap space, not close to enough to absorb the $38.5 million he's scheduled to make next season. 

It would be incredibly damaging to the Knicks' relationships with agents if they reneged on free-agent agreements to acquire Westbrook, so you can forget about that option. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton gestures while dribbling the ball during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)
New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton gestures while dribbling the ball during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Unless you're an elite player, starting jobs in the NBA aren't handed out in July. So it's way too early to predict who will be starting at point guard for the Knicks next season.

But at the moment, the plan is for new Knick Elfrid Payton to get "every opportunity" to win the starting point guard position next season, per SNY sources familiar with the matter.

The Knicks signed Payton to a two-year, $16 million deal with a team option for the second season.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle shoots over Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)
New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle shoots over Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Over the past weeks, months and years, Knicks fans have grown accustomed to waiting. Waiting for one of their young pieces to blossom, for the NBA Draft Lottery, the NBA Draft and free agency. 

All of that waiting and things have not really changed. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are headed to the rival Brooklyn Nets, and New York's faithful will have to sit patiently through yet another losing season for yet another promise of a return to glory. 

However, the Knicks completed a flurry of signings before the calendar even flipped to July, filling out a roster of legitimate NBA players -- something they haven't often possessed lately.

 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Scott Perry Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Scott Perry Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

After striking out on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and (presumably) Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks essentially did what they said they were going to do in 'Plan B' of their free agency approach: signed players to team-friendly deals to maintain cap flexibility.

The contracts for Reggie Bullock (two years, $21 million), Bobby Portis (two years, $31 million), Elfrid Payton (two years, $16 million), Taj Gibson (two years, $20 million) and Wayne Ellington (two years, $16 million) all have team options for the second season. The Knicks' deal with Julius Randle (three years, $63 million) has a team option for the third season.

The anger over the club missing on Durant is warranted given the steps the club took to create max cap space. But the Knicks seemed to do well in their pivot to Plan B.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

It's logical to think that there are no players on the Knicks roster who are off limits when it comes to potential trades, but 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina is one player who members of the organization are open to listening to offers on, sources confirm.

Ntilikina has been a part of trade rumors for several months. It is unclear what the Knicks would be looking for in return for a Ntilikina deal, but the New York Post, which first reported the Knicks' willingness to move Ntilikina, says the club is looking for a late first or second-round pick. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Jun 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
Jun 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

A few young Knicks and coaches plan to attend the next two NBA Finals games. 

Mitchell Robinson plans to attend Game 5 of Raptors-Warriors with assistant coach Pat Sullivan, per SNY sources. And Kevin Knox, Kadeem Allen, and Allonzo Trier plan to attend Game 4 of the Finals on Friday night, a source confirmed to SNY. 

Last year, David Fizdale brought Emmanuel Mudiay, Damyean Dotson, and Frank Ntilikina to a Celtics-Cavs playoff game. He wanted to show them the atmosphere of playoff basketball. After the season, he said he intended to do the same with the young Knicks from the 2018-19 team. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Cam Reddish (2) and guard Jordan Goldwire (14) walk off the court ofter losing to the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)
Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Cam Reddish (2) and guard Jordan Goldwire (14) walk off the court ofter losing to the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)

The Knicks are faced with many an option with their No. 3 pick in this upcoming NBA Draft, including trading down to pick up two lottery players instead of one, and the chance at one of two ball-dominant, high-ceiling college stars. An impending free agency period in which New York is expected to sign a major star only complicates matters.

Perhaps most importantly, the Knicks just need to avoid a calamitous mistake. Every asset they compile is crucial towards their rebuild, and patience is wearing thin for this team to finally get it together. Here are some of the high-risk selections the front office should consider passing up on.

Anyone but R.J. Barrett and Ja Morant...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

For all the suffering the Knicks faithful has had to endure over the years, one place where New York has generally exceeded expectations is the NBA Draft.

Last year's second round pick, Mitchell Robinson, looks like the Knicks' best prospect. Taking Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick in 2015 was clearly the right move, despite how that relationship played out. 

However, the Knicks have also had their share of busts and blunders, moments the franchise can learn from as the calendar flips to June. New York has the third overall pick, its best shot at a future star since Patrick Ewing and arguably one of the most important selections in team history. Here are some lessons they can draw from past miscues to make the right decision this time around.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina at Madison Square Garden. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina at Madison Square Garden. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina has reportedly switched agents amid trade rumors, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy.

Ntilikina, who has been included in rumors involving a potential Anthony Davis trade to a deal for another draft pick, signed with French agent Bouna Ndiaye after parting ways with his previous agents at CAA.

Ndiaye, according to Basket USA's Jonathan Demay, represents several other NBA players, including Nicholas Batum, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks will reportedly explore the idea of trading former top-10 pick Frank Ntilikina for another draft pick, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

Ntilikina, the last first-round pick under the Phil Jackson regime, has averaged just 5.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 121 games since the Knicks drafted him eighth overall two years ago.

Over the past couple of weeks, he and several other Knicks players have been included in trade rumors amid the Knicks' potential interest in Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Since the Knicks were given the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, only Patrick Ewing and Isiah Thomas have said something about missing out on the top selection and Zion Williamson

That is until team president Steve Mills spoke up at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago on Friday. 

Though he didn't talk for long, Mills said the team is excited to use their No. 3 pick to further their rebuilding process...

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Only Pelicans executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin - and maybe a select few others close to him - knows exactly what New Orleans wants in a potential Anthony Davis trade.

Griffin reiterated on Tuesday that he's committed to trying to keep Davis in New Orleans. Landing the No. 1 overall pick in June gives him another potential selling point for Davis, but the smart money says he will still want to leave New Orleans. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported as much shortly after the Lottery.

So, assuming New Orleans has to deal Davis this summer, which teams can make the best offers? And how can the Knicks push themselves to the front of that group?

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Knicks get the 3rd pick 00:01:26
SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley explains what the #3 pick means for the Knicks, and what it means in relation to a potential Anthony Davis trade.

The results of Tuesday's NBA Lottery weren't a disaster for the Knicks, but they certainly weren't ideal. 

New York finished with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, earning the chance to select a top college player or to try to trade the pick for an established star. 

R.J. Barrett, who could be on the board when the Knicks select on June 20, will meet with New York on Wednesday in Chicago ahead of the NBA Draft Combine, per SNY's Adam Zagoria.

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Would Knicks trade #1 pick? 00:01:33
New York Knicks could possibly get the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. SNY's Ian Begley reports there is 'no consensus' they would trade it.

Anthony Davis would certainly consider re-signing with the Knicks if he felt he could be successful in New York, per SNY sources familiar with the matter. And here's how a Davis to New York trade could work:

Since the goal would likely be to pair Davis with two other stars, the Knicks would first sign their two max free agents in early July, using nearly all of their $70-plus million in cap space.

They would then have to send out roughly $21.6 million in salary to satisfy NBA trade rules in a swap for Davis, who is making $27 million in 2019.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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 (SNY)
(SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Moments after the original NBA Draft Lottery, back when the basketball gods or conspiracy or whatever you want to believe gifted Patrick Ewing to the Knicks, Dave DeBusschere talked about how antsy he got before it all played out. 

"I couldn't listen to the commissioner; I was very nervous," the then-Knicks exec said on the television broadcast. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony McCarron
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Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) eyes the basket against New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) and center Mitchell Robinson (26) during overtime at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) eyes the basket against New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) and center Mitchell Robinson (26) during overtime at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

One of the worst seasons in New York Knicks history is over. A 17-65 record will be tough to swallow, but arguably the franchise's biggest offseason ever is fast approaching. This roster made up of raw talent and NBA vagabonds could look anywhere from completely different to mostly the same this time next year. Here's how each key player fared this season, and whether they should stay or go:

Kevin Knox

Barring an Anthony Davis trade, Knox is likely to remain a Knick, and fans should be cautiously optimistic about his future. Although his numbers as a whole were shoddy, there's a lot that is easily fixable, such as taking off a step too early or knowing when to go to the floater vs. attacking the defender's body. He had some solid stretches scattered across an underwhelming season: 43 percent three-point shooting in March, for example. The goal is for him to be a complete player, but we've yet to see tangible improvements much of anywhere,. That's okay, he's very young, and clearly filled with talent.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Lance Thomas, Mario Hezonja, Mitchell Robinson, Noah Vonleh
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Ntilikina, Fizdale on injury 00:00:56
New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina is out the rest of the season after reaggravating a groin injury. Has he played his last game as a Knick?

The Knicks will shut down Frank Ntilikina for the rest of the season after he re-aggravated his groin injury last Sunday, the team announced.

Ntilikina, the second-year guard out of France, returned from a 24-game absence on Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers, but left the game after suffering a setback. A few more tests showed the Knicks that he should be shut down.

"I re-aggravated progressively again," Ntilikina told the media at practice Friday. "I kinda felt something before the game and this is how it happened. So after the game it was pretty sore too. Made a couple of more tests and the medical staff, which is trying to do the best for me and my health, recommended I take it easy."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale talks to guards Damyean Dotson and Emmanuel Mudiay during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale talks to guards Damyean Dotson and Emmanuel Mudiay during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks' blockbuster trade of Kristaps Porzingis cleared the franchise enough salary cap space to pursue two max free agents this summer. Presumably, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are going to be two targets.

But with the roster head coach David Fizdale has now, he is trying to work on his players' versatility, because the Knicks could soon have an abundance of players at one position.

"That I'm trying to do with all of them is make them, to a certain extent, positionless,'' Fizdale said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "Where it doesn't matter who they're out there with. That their skill set applies to whatever position they're playing. That's kind of how we're looking at it going forward."

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox
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Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) controls the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) controls the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Knicks coach David Fizdale would like to be able to choose from a deep roster but injuries are piling up.

Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has missed the last six games with a sore back, rookie guard Allonzo Trier has missed the last three games with a strained calf and forward Noah Vonleh has missed the last five games with a sprained right ankle.

Smith, Trier, and Vonleh may be out again Thursday and the trio could be joined on the sidelines by rookie forward Kevin Knox.

Knox sprained his right ankle with 32 seconds left in the first half of a 124-113 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Knox was injured when his foot collided with Los Angeles guard Patrick Beverley's on a 3-point attempt.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Noah Vonleh
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Mar 10, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Mar 10, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

When the Knicks hired David Fizdale to be their new head coach, they knew he would be bringing aggressive basketball on both ends of the floor. Well, that clearly hasn't translated to wins for this rebuilding roster this season, but that doesn't mean his tactics won't be successful.

Fizdale knows he needs certain players around his young guns to make it work.

"Our defense won't really, really get to where it's at until we start to really fill in the gaps with the type of guys we think can take our defense to the next level," Fizdale told the Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "Add maybe another forward defender or another perimeter defender that has a reputation for that. Those kind of guys are the ones that elevate your system to the next level."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Frank Ntilikina was returning to the Knicks for the final 10 games of this dismal 2018-19 regular season with a purpose: to prove he should still be in blue and orange next season. But it was short-lived when Ntilikina reaggravated his groin injury that kept him out 24 straight games against the Clippers on Sunday night.

So is that it? Does Ntilikina's season finish on this note? Head coach David Fizdale wouldn't say it officially, as the Frenchman sat out of Tuesday's practice. 

"We don't know yet on the status of how far away he is from coming back," Fizdale told The Post's Marc Berman. "I know it was a tough blow to the kid the other night. I just don't know how sever it is. I just know that it got to a point during the game where it was really bothering him. It's just been frustrating for the kid. It's been frustrating for all of us, but for him it's been tough."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Scott Thompson
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Mar 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) drives to the basket in the first quarter against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Mar 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) drives to the basket in the first quarter against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Clippers handed the Knicks their fourth consecutive loss, 124-113 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, where Los Angeles continued its push for better seeding in the Western Conference playoff picture. >> Box score

Five things to know about Sunday's game

1. Danilo Gallinari returned to the Garden in style, as the former Knick lit it up for 26 points -- 13 of which came from the free throw line. He also added nine rebounds. 

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Los Angeles Clippers
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Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) dunks over Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) and guard Shelvin Mack (6) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) dunks over Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) and guard Shelvin Mack (6) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Already without Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, and Noah Vonleh, the Knicks lost two more players to injury during Sunday's game at Madison Square Garden.

Rookie Kevin Knox left due to a sprained ankle and was ruled out. Frank Ntilikina -- who returned Friday night after missing roughly two months due to a groin injury -- left due to a groin injury. His return was listed as questionable. 

The Knicks, who have nine games left this season, probably wish the season ended Sunday. And they may have to scramble to find enough able-bodies to play as the season winds down. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Danny Abriano
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Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Frank Ntilikina is finally returning for the Knicks tonight, per ESPN's Ian Begley

Ntilikina was back at practice earlier this week, as he continued to nurse a groin injury. He didn't have any setbacks, but the Knicks didn't want to rush him back against the Jazz on Wednesday. It was more optimistic that he came back this weekend, and Ntilikina is living up to that notion. 

It is good that the Frenchman is back, but it isn't the ideal return the Knicks had hoped for. Head coach David Fizdale had said he is going to use Ntilikina on the wing, and they wanted to see how he could play with new point guard Dennis Smith Jr. However, Smith threw his back out and could miss the rest of the season. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Mar 4, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) walks off the court during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)
Mar 4, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) walks off the court during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)

The Jazz come to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks tonight, but New York will be without a few key contributors in this one. 

The most notable is PG Dennis Smith Jr., who head coach David Fizdale said threw out his back. The team is expecting to re-evaluate him next week as he will likely miss at least three more games. The Knicks could deem Smith done for the season if the evaluation says so. 

And that isn't the only guard the Knicks will be without. Allonzo Trier has a calf injury that will keep him out, while Frank Ntilikina isn't quite ready to return from his groin injury. Ntilikina practice with G-League Westchester on Tuesday, but he is expected to practice once again and be ready to make his awaited return this weekend. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Noah Vonleh, Utah Jazz
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Dec 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports  (Bill Streicher)
Dec 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Knicks PG Frank Ntilikina has finally been cleared to practice, and it couldn't have came at a better time. 

According to the Daily News' Stefan Bondy, the 20-year-old former first rounder will be practicing with G-League Westchester on Tuesday as the Knicks are traveling back from Toronto following a 128-92 blowout on Monday night. Ntilikina has been sidelined for weeks with a groin injury, but if everything goes well at practice, he could be suiting up against the Jazz at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. 

That would be the best case scenario for Ntilikina, who needs these last 11 games of the season to prove he is still worth it to the Knicks. It doesn't look good for Ntilikina to stay in orange and blue next season, especially with new point guard Dennis Smith Jr. coming over from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. The Knicks also have Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay and Damyean Doston all under contract for 2019. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks second-year guard Frank Ntilikina is improving from a groin injury that has kept him out since January and will be re-evaluated once New York returns from its three-game road trip, the team announced.

Ntilikina, who last played Jan. 27, has missed the Knicks' last 18 games entering Sunday's matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Knicks expect Ntilikina, 20, to improve his on-court activity and controlled contact this week.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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