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Frank Ntilikina

Frank Ntilikina (11) Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)
Frank Ntilikina (11) Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)

The Knicks and new head coach David Fizdale want to see more from PG Frank Ntilikina this upcoming season. He had a so-so year in his rookie campaign, showing flashes of what he can give on the offensive end while providing the stellar defense he was known to possess. 

To up his game entirely, Fizdale wants the young guard to be more aggressive and physical. In turn, Ntilikina hit the weights. 

During the Knicks' town hall event on Monday, GM Scott Perry said that Ntilikina added 10-15 pounds of muscle during his summer workouts, per ESPN's Ian Begley

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New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis and Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen fight for position during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis and Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen fight for position during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks president Steve Mills is focused on rebuilding the franchise, and that means being cautious with All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis and their draft picks from this year and the future.

At a team town hall, Mills said he wants to play the long game in having the Knicks return to being a contender.

"We're not going to take shortcuts," Mills said, according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov. "We're not going to trade our draft picks. Really, we believe New Yorkers will live with a plan and buy into a plan as long as we articulate it. ... We're not going to trade away assets for a guy we can get on our own later."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

In order to better prepare for his second season with the Knicks and his first under new head coach David Fizdale, point guard Frank Ntilikina told the French outlet l'Equipe he won't play for Team France in the FIBA World Cup qualifying.

"At the dawn of my second NBA season with the New York Knicks," Ntilikina said in a statement in French, "the timing appears very complex with a start of regrouping the team planned in early September and a new cycle to come with a new coaching staff. It is with great regret that I will not be able to finally join the group for this campaign."

The 20-year-old Ntilikina, who averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 78 games as a rookie with New York last season, studied film with Fizdale earlier this summer and said he learned a lot from Fizdale, the former Grizzlies coach who replaced Jeff Hornacek.

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Frank Ntilikina (11) Mario Hezonja (8) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Frank Ntilikina (11) Mario Hezonja (8) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Many athletes around the world have FIFA World Cup fever, but none other than Knicks teammates Frank Ntilikina and Mario Hezonja. They even have a side bet on the final match.

Ntilikina's France and Hezonja's Croatia have made it to the final, and both players want to make things even more interesting. A Knicks fan took to Twitter to propose a bet where the loser of the match has to wear an entire outfit with the opposing team's flag design on it through Manhattan for a day with cameras following. 

MSG Networks, who airs the Knicks games, responded to the tweet saying they would be willing to do so. Ntilikina then picked up the bet, and sent the wager to Hezonja...

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New York Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay controls the ball against Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay controls the ball against Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

New Knicks head coach David Fizdale said point guards Emmanuel MudiayFrank Ntilikina and Trey Burke will "fight it out" to see who starts, adding he sees each of them having a role with the team in the 2018-19 season.

"I'm going to let them fight it out for who starts," Fizdale said on NBATV, according to ESPN's Ian Begley, "but I see all of them serving a purpose for the way I like to play."

Fizdale said he and the Knicks' coaching staff have been working with Mudiay on "some technical stuff," including his shot, but believes he has an explosive physical presence as a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard.

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 (Brian Losness)
(Brian Losness)

The future of the Knicks will be tested during the Las Vegas Summer League, and the stakes couldn't be higher for this young talent that GM Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills hope carry the team out of the dumps in the near future. 

For draft picks, this is a chance to showcase why they were taken in the lottery. And for others on the roster, this is a chance to get rewarded with a contract if they can ball out. Even new head coach David Fizdale gets to display his expertise for the first time. 

So, with the Knicks first game against the Hawks slated for this Saturday at 5:30 p.m., here are some players to watch in Vegas over the next couple weeks...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Knicks new head coach David Fizdale is already taking Frank Ntilikina under his wing. And the first order of business for the Knicks 2017 first-rounder is to get some to be more selfish with the ball.

Normally the point guard position is expected to do the exact opposite. But Fizdale believes Ntilikina is too passive in his game, which is why he brought him to his hotel room on Wednesday for a private film session to look at summer league practice from the day before. 

"He's a good basketball player," Fizdale told Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "It's going to be a process with him of constantly emphasizing aggression and always be in 'Go mode' and don't be concerned as much about taking care of everybody and that his aggression will draw defenders to help him take care of everybody...."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Knicks have announced their 2018 Summer League roster that features first round pick Kevin Knox, former first rounder Frank Ntilikina, and recent second-round pick Mitchell Robinson

The Knicks start their Las Vegas Summer League journey on Saturday, July 7 against the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks will also play the Jazz and Lakers before the start of the tournament round. 

The roster is filled out with returners from the 2017 Summer League team including Luke Kornet and Damyean Dotson.

 

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Knicks GM on Kevin Knox 00:00:53
New York Knicks GM Scott Perry meets the media and discusses why the team chose Kevin Knox with the ninth pick in the NBA Draft.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- In drafting freshman wing Kevin Knox with the No. 9 pick in the NBA Draft, Knicks' brass fell in love with his talent, upside, and Kentucky pedigree.

The Knicks could have selected Villanova's Mikal Bridges or Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. -- who some fans cheered for, booing Knox in the process. But, instead, they zeroed in on the 18-year-old Knox to fill their void on the wing. The Tampa, Fla., native will be officially introduced at the Knicks' facility on Friday.

"Kevin is a young man that we did extensive research on, we like the talent," Knicks GM Scott Perry said. "He fits what we're going to be about. What we've talked about from the very beginning, he's long, he's athletic, he can play multiple positions. I think he has tremendous upside."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Adam Zagoria
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks drafted Kentucky's Kevin Knox with an eye toward making the franchise "attractive" to free agents in 2019 -- most notably New Jersey native Kyrie Irving.

The Knicks' brass hopes that a young core of the 18-year-old Knox along with Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, and other promising pieces will attract free agents like Irving a year from now.

"Yeah, our goal is to make this an attractive place," Knicks President Steve Mills said when I asked him about potential free agents.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Adam Zagoria
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Leonard wants out of San Antonio 00:04:51
The Loud Mouths and Michael Rapaport discuss the report of Kawhi Leonard's alleged desire to leave the Spurs and join the Lakers.

With reports swirling that Spurs F Kawhi Leonard wants to play elsewhere next season, the fit with the Knicks sounds enticing. 

For one, the Knicks were interested in going after Leonard when he becomes a free agent in 2019, per The Post's Marc Berman. However, now that Leonard wants to leave San Antonio a season early, they may not be the right fit because of one reason: Kristaps Porzingis

To acquire a player with Leonard's caliber, an even return would need to be in place for the Spurs. That means Porzingis would likely be mentioned in any deal if the Knicks wished to be a contender for Leonard. 

Tags: Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Scott Thompson
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Knicks SG Damyean Dotson loves what he has seen so far from new head coach David Fizdale. 

Fizdale was brought in by GM Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills to change the culture of the team. Though the season hasn't started yet, Dotson can already feel a change. 

"Coach is a great guy," he told The Post's Marc Berman. "He knows what he is talking about. Very detailed and makes sure everyone is on the same page, feedling off each other and together. He's big into making sure we come together, play together and believe in each other. That we produce, play hard and scrappy. All the things that you want a coach to do. He inherited that mindset from [Pat] RIley and [Erik] Spoelstra. He has instilled a great culture in himself and wants to put that into our team."

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina
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Knicks to pick Walker at No. 9? 00:00:34
SNY takes a look at former University of Miami guard, and one of the top prospects in the 2018 NBA Draft, Lonnie Walker.

The Knicks will host a private workout for Miami guard Lonnie Walker on Wednesday, reports SNY contributor Adam Zagoria.

Walker was named to the ACC All-Freshman team after averaging 11.5 points, 1.9 assists, and shot 41.5 percent from the field last season. 

The Knicks like the potential the 19-year-old has based off his athleticism. His assistant coach at Miami, Chris Caputo, said Walker's skills on and off the court make him worth of a top 10 pick. 

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Dec 30, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)
Dec 30, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)

Knicks G Frank Ntilikina was the second-youngest player in last year's NBA Draft, and he's younger than projected lottery picks DeAndre Ayton, Mo Bamba, Mikal Bridges and others. 

While those players are preparing for the draft, Ntilkina already has a season of NBA basketball under his belt and has been able to focus on hitting the gym like crazy this offseason.

"I've added some weight and muscle," Ntilikina said...

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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Looking to improve on his rookie season, Knicks PG Frank Ntilikina is back in New York, and ready to get to work with new head coach David Fizdale. 

Ntilikina has been in his home France, but he has returned for Fizdale's first informal workout with the team on Monday, per The Post's Marc Berman. Players like Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Burke, Damyean Dotson, and Troy Williams are expected to be at the workout as well. 

The 19-year-old has been texting his new head coach, but the two haven't officially met in person. But Fizdale made it a point to say that he wants to build a "great relationship" with all of his players before training camp officially kicks off...

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Troy Williams
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LM: NBA Draft or David Fizdale? 00:02:08
Sal Licata and Jon Hein debate whether this year's NBA Draft or new head coach David Fizdale will be more important to the Knicks' success.

With the NBA Draft Lottery set for Tuesday night in Chicago, the Knicks are hoping to move their draft position up for the first time since 1985. 

The Knicks pre-lottery position was third after going 24-58 during the 1984-85 season. However, with a 14.29 percent chance of having their logo selected in the lottery, the Knicks were awarded the first overall pick after NBA commissioner David Stern opened the envelope.

They would go on to select C Patrick Ewing, who was an 11-time All-Star and Hall of Fame inductee after his 17-year career. He spent 15 seasons with the Knicks, averaging 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in New York. The Knicks hired Fizdale after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer/AP)
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in New York. The Knicks hired Fizdale after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Jake Brown | Twitter | Accountability. Accountability. Accountability. That is something David Fizdale is ready to hammer down. And It's something that Jeff Hornacek failed to do in his two forgettable seasons coaching the Knicks.

According to Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, current NBA players, coaches, and executives all spoke highly of Fizdale, calling him someone who holds people accountable. That attribute, mixed with being a "tireless worker" and an "innovative basketball mind," all add up to what the Knicks have been missing.

Also, a high character head coach is something the Knicks badly needed. Fizdale fills that void. Nobody used the words "high character" when speaking about Hornacek. The 43-year-old Fizdale is a dozen years younger and can get into the ears of these players. If someone is playing poorly, Fizdale will sit them...

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Troy Williams, Jake Brown
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Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James (23) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) are separated by New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James (23) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) are separated by New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

While answering questions on social media Monday afternoon, Knicks forward Enes Kanter had a message for the Cleveland Cavaliers' Lebron James:

"You really want to be King of New York? Come and prove it."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Hall of Famer and former Knicks F Bernard King sees loads of potential in Knicks PG Frank Ntilikina.

The 19-year-old, who was selected eighth overall out of France in the 2017 NBA Draft, now has a full NBA season under his belt. And as expected, there were some growing pains that occurred for Ntilikina. 

However, King sees the young guard's upside.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

The Knicks may have ending their season on a high note with a win over the Cavs Wednesday night. But it wasn't ideal as their dropped to the ninth seed in the NBA Draft Lottery. 

A loss would have had the Knicks tied for the eighth seed. Instead, they now have a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery and 6.1 percent chance of earning a top-three pick in June's draft. 

With the Knicks in the middle of a rebuild, the Draft is paramount in adding talent for the future. Last season, PG Frank Ntilikina and SF Damyean Dotson were selected in the first and second rounds respectively. The 19-year-old Ntilikina had a solid rookie campaign, but needs to work on his offensive abilities to go along with his stellar defensive prowess. Dotson saw significant time at the end of the season, where he opened eyes to his dynamic scoring abilities.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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 (David Richard)
(David Richard)

Luke Kornet led the Knicks with a career-high 23 points, as they captured a 110-98 win over the Cavs in their final game of the 2017-18 season. >> Box Score

Kornet shot 9-for-14 from the field, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. He also had three rebounds, two assists, and a block for the night. 

Frank Ntilikina continued his hot play to end the season with 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting as well as four rebounds and four assists. Trey Burke totaled 19 points with nine assists and five boards. 

Tags: Michael Beasley, Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Cavaliers forwards Kevin Love and LeBron James each scored over 20 points, as Cleveland cruised to a 123-109 win over the Knicks. >> Box Score

James recorded a double-double with 26 points and 11 assists, while Love shot an even 50 percent from the field (9-for-18) for a game-high 28 points on the night. 

The Cavaliers' bench also contributed as former Knick J.R. Smith and Jordan Clarkson had 16 points apiece, and Larry Nance Jr. tallied 10 points. 

Tags: Michael Beasley, Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Lance Thomas
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Feb 12, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks forward Michael Beasley (8) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Feb 12, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks forward Michael Beasley (8) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Knicks will be without Michael Beasley and Enes Kanter for Tuesday night's game against the Magic, reports Ian Begley of ESPN. 

Tags: Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina
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Mar 31, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 31, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jake Brown | Twitter | As the Knicks season slowly and painfully winds down, it's time to start thinking about what this team needs to do in the offseason. The first decision is simple for them -- fire Jeff Hornacek.

The next move will be to replace Hornacek with someone who hopefully won't be getting replaced anytime soon. I recently broke down possible options for the Knicks at head coach.

After replacing Hornacek, it's time for the Knicks to figure out what they are doing with the current roster before they plan on who they are going to select with their top 10 pick in the NBA Draft in June. Many of those decisions begin with what they are going to do with their overcrowded backcourt situation. Here's where the Knicks should start...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jake Brown
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Feb 22, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks with guard Trey Burke (23) and guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 22, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks with guard Trey Burke (23) and guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

After Jeff Hornacek opted to insert Trey Burke into the starting lineup ahead of trade-deadline acquisition Emmanuel Mudiay, the coach insisted that the ration of minutes is decided by the coaching staff without pressure from the front office.  

Around the All-Star break, Hornacek was public with his promise to give his young guards more minutes, specifically rookie Frank Ntilikina. Mudiay appeared to be the immediate benefactor of that proclamation but has since lost his strarting job, and Horncaek clarifies, again, that is a decision solely made by the coaching staff...

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

At this point in the season, the Knicks are beginning to give minutes to their young guys for evaluation, and what their potential could hold for the future of the franchise. For 2017 second-round pick Damyean Dotson, those minutes have been very few. 

Dotson, a Houston product, has been on the bench the past two games with a right foot injury, and it very well may be the worst time for an ailment to keep him off the court. New York wants to see how their young prospects can perform under the big lights, and Dotson wants nothing more than to show the front office what he can do. 

"Eventually I'll get my time on the court and I can show what I can do," Dotson told Newsday's Al Iannazzone.

Tags: Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Lance Thomas, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Mar 15, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young (11) reacts against the Rhode Island Rams during the first half in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Mar 15, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young (11) reacts against the Rhode Island Rams during the first half in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Now that Trae Young has officially declared for the NBA Draft, Knicks fans can officially dream of landing the player who has been called a young Steph Curry.

The 6-foot-2 Oklahoma freshman declared for the Draft on Tuesday after an up-and-down season at Oklahoma where he led the nation in scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.7). He scored 40 or more points three times, but also crashed out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round.

The Knicks (26-45) currently own the NBA's ninth-worst record, and may have a chance to land Young depending on where they end up in the lottery.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Adam Zagoria
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New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

As the Knicks limp towards the end of the season, currently having lost 13 of their last 14 games, Jeff Hornacek assured the NBA that they need not worry about tanking from the Knicks. They're still trying to win.

The Knicks are intent on giving Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke more minutes in the backcourt ahead of veterans such as Courtney Lee and Jarrett Jack. Hornacek noted that the team is giving young players valuable minutes rather than explicitly trying to lose...

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 (Craig Mitchelldyer)
(Craig Mitchelldyer)

Jeff Hornacek thought mixing up his lineup would spark a change in his team. Too bad Trail Blazers PG Damian Lillard didn't care who was on the floor. 

Frank Ntilikina saw his first start as a Knicks, but it was at shooting guard as Courtney Lee was injured. Michael Beasley, on the other hand, came off the bench as his offensive struggles forced the move by Hornacek. Lance Thomas took his spot instead. 

But, on the road in Portland, it was the red-hot Lillard who put on a show once again to aid the Blazers to a 111-87 blowout. He had 37 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including eight threes. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Scott Thompson
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Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina is in the starting lineup on Tuesday night for the first time in his career, the team announced.

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NEW YORK -- Charles Barkley may be known as a notorious Knicks hater, but fresh off hosting "Saturday Night Live" last weekend, Barkley now says the Knicks are in their best position in years, and can continue to build a playoff team via the draft and their young players.

"It's the best it's been in a long time and it's getting better," Barkley, echoing comments he made last month, said Tuesday at a CBS/Turner media brunch in Manhattan. "It's unfortunate [Kristaps] Porzingis got hurt, but I'm telling you, I think they're getting better."

Barkley said he likes the young Knicks core of Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay, and is a big fan of center Enes Kanterwho has said he hopes to retire a Knick.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Adam Zagoria
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

In his Knicks audition, PG Emmanuel Mudiay hasn't had the best of starts. But that doesn't mean that head coach Jeff Hornacek has given up on the 21-year-old.

Mudiay has earned five starts in the eight games he has played since being traded, and his struggles to get the offense going have been noticeable. His own offense has failed to make an impact as well.

After a 20-point night against the Warriors where he shot 8-for-15, including 3-of-5 from three, Mudiay has shot 2-for-16 in the last two games. The Knicks' latest matchup against the Kings on Sunday saw him miss all six shot attempts, and force Hornacek to bench him for the final 20 minutes of the game. 

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Dec 30, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)
Dec 30, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)

Enes Kanter understands that navigating the NBA as a 19-year-old rookie is a difficult task and feels that Frank Ntilikina is doing 'unbelievably well.'

Ntilikina is averaging 5.4 points and 3.1 assists in 20.5 minutes per game after the Knicks selected him 8th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. The point guard has had to deal with being compared to players the Knicks passed on, like Donovan Mitchell and Dennis Smith Jr...

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Mudiay on fellow PG Ntilikina 00:01:49
Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay chats with SNY's Taylor Rooks about his relationship with fellow PG Frank Ntilikina.

Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay chatted with SNY's Taylor Rooks about his relationship with fellow PG Frank Ntilikina.

"As soon as I got here, me and Frank -- we clicked," Mudiay said, adding that he's taken on a bit of a leadership role while helping Ntilikina adjust to the NBA. Mudiay noted that he and Ntilikina are both transitioning from another country and that Ntilikina is helping him "without him knowing he's helping me."

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New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack reacts after throwing the ball out of bounds during the overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York.The Bulls won 122-119 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack reacts after throwing the ball out of bounds during the overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York.The Bulls won 122-119 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

With 20 games left in the season, the Knicks are focused on getting their young point guards Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Trey Burke more minutes together on the court. 

So where does that leave veteran PG Jarrett Jack?

Jack was the starter at the beginning of the season. However, he is realizing the Knicks have other priorities has he hasn't seen the court in the last three games. His role has now changed to a mentor for the three guards, and though he hasn't made a big deal of that, he did note he might explore other options if they arise.

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GEICO SportsNite: Knicks 00:01:37
Trey Burke discusses how he's taking advantage of his opportunity, while Enes Kanter says the Knicks need to focus on finishing strong.

It looked as if Trey Burke was dealt a good hand when he began his NBA career back in 2013. But after a great rookie season came only tribulation for the young point guard. 

Burke was an all-rookie first-team selection, after positing 12.8 points and 5.7 assists in his first year with the Jazz. He looked to be their future starting point guard, especially with 68 starts in the 82-game season. 

However, the Jazz drafted Dante Exum, another point guard, in 2014. That draft pick was the start to Burke having to build up his mental toughness...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving (11) passes the ball while defended by New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving (11) passes the ball while defended by New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Upon their return from the All-Star break, the Knicks beat the Magic 120-113. Despite a difficult first half defensively, the team earned plaudits for how it buckled down in the second half, specifically their young guards. 

Between Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay, the team did enough defensively to win. Now, they are focused on the Celtics, which should prove to be a more difficult challenge, specifically with the guards against Kyrie Irving. 

"It's going to be challenging like every other game," Ntilikina said...

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Emmanuel Mudiay saw his first start as a Knick on Thursday night in Orlando, and what he did was a rare sight. It wasn't his overall play, but a particular play instead. 

On a fast break to end the second quarter, Mudiay saw Tim Hardaway Jr. sprinting and threw up an alley-oop dime for him to flush home. The Knicks haven't seen Hardaway go up for that play in quite some time despite his ability to get above the rim. 

Mudiay said Hardaway wanted more alley-oops, and he delivered...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Scott Thompson
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Newly-acquired point guard Emmanuel Mudiay hinted he may be in the Knicks' starting lineup when New York returns from the All-Star break on Thursday against the Orlando Magic.

The 21-year-old Mudiay started 107 of 123 games with the Denver Nuggets from 2015 to 2017, but did not start any of the 42 games this season before he was part of a three-team deadline deal with New York.

Asked about the possibility of being a starter again, Mudiay told ESPN's Ian Begley: "I'm not going to take it for granted. I came in as a lottery pick so I was kind of handed the spot and stuff like that. So the fact that I'm in that position again it's a blessing. Thank God for it. I just have to take full advantage."

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Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

When Emmanuel Mudiay first met Frank Ntilikina, he immediately spoke to him in French, foreshadowing the bond the two Knicks guards have developed in their short time together as the "French Connection."

Mudiay's family escaped from the war-torn nation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2001, while Ntilikina was born in Belgium to Rwandan parents. Congo and Rwanda are neighboring nations in Africa, and both faced similar conflicts.

"They're neighboring countries and the reason why people fled from both countries is the same reason," Jean-Micheal Mudiay, Emmanel's older brother, told SNY.tv by phone from Dallas. "Them being neighboring countries, they're both involved in the same kind of war."

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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis knocks away a pass intended for Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis knocks away a pass intended for Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)

When the point guard-starved Knicks were on the clock with the no. 8 overall pick in the point guard-heavy 2017 NBA Draft, it seemed certain they'd draft a guard. But which one?

They decided to take Frank Ntilikina, but arguments were made for Malik Monk, Donovan Mitchell, or, the loudest arguments around the time of the draft, Dennis Smith Jr...

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 (Jesse Johnson)
(Jesse Johnson)

Knicks rookie PG Frank Ntilikina showcased his skills for Team World during the NBA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend on Friday. 

Ntilikina notched six points on 3-of-6 shooting, while dishing out five assists and collecting four rebounds and three steals in 18 minutes of play. Team World went on to crush Team USA, 155-124.

Kings guards Buddy Hield and MVP Bogdan Bogdanovic led Team World with 29 and 26 points respectively, with Bogdanovic knocking down seven of his 13 shots from three point land. Nuggets SG Jamal Murray tallied 21 points as well.

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Hall of Famer and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley told New York not to give up on the Knicks just yet. 

While speaking at the All-Star weekend festivities, Barkley said he understands why Knicks might be frustrated after consecutive losing seasons, and the team's recent skid. But he believes the front office is building up the team in the right direction. 

For example, making Kristaps Porzingis the franchise player was the right move in Barkley's eyes. And despite being upset over his ACL injury, Barkley thinks it could help the Knicks in the long run. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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New York Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudlay dunks against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudlay dunks against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Newly-acquired point guard Emmanuel Mudiay recorded a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists in his Knicks debut in Sunday's 121-113 loss to the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

"He really showed court sense, made some great passes," Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

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Nov 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Nov 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Two days after issuing a press release indicating they had officially acquired Emmanuel Mudiay in a three-team trade, the Knicks on Saturday said the trade was being held up by Devin Harris' physical in Denver.

If Mudiay is eligible to play Sunday in Indiana, he will, coach Jeff Hornacek said. Hornacek added that he expects a healthy competition at the point guard spot going forward between Mudiay, rookie Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke, while Jarrett Jack's minutes are expected to be affected.

"It's something to do with Devin Harris getting his physical in Denver," Hornacek said of the holdup on the 21-year-old Mudiay, who was at the Knicks facility Saturday but did not practice or address the media...

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Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 127-124. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)
Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 127-124. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

Emmanuel Mudiay is expected to make his Knicks debut on Sunday against the Pacers according to head coach Jeff Hornacek, via SNY's Taylor Rooks.

Mudiay will be in the mix with Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and Jarrett Jack. ESPN's Ian Begley said that Hornacek "suggests" that Jack's minutes will lessen for the rest of the season. The 34-year-old has started ahead of Ntilikina all season.

The Knicks acquired Mudiay just ahead of the trade deadline in a deal that sent F Doug McDermott to the Mavericks. Mudiay, 21, averaged 8.5 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 42 games for the Nuggets this season, while averaging 17.9 minutes per game.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Knicks GM Scott Perry wanted to reassure everyone Friday that the acquisition of PG Emmanuel Mudiay was no knock on Frank Ntilikina's performance thus far. 

The Knicks' rookie point guard looks to be the odd man out after the team landed Mudiay in a three-team trade. But Perry said getting Mudiay was only part of the "talent acquisition" phase of the team's roster building, per ESPN's Ian Begley.  Perry, instead, thinks that Ntilikina and Mudiay can battle with each other in the practice gym and during games. 

Perry also stated that the front office doesn't plan on sending Ntilikina down to the G League. The Knicks have four point guards on their roster with the addition of Mudiay. Jarrett Jack and Trey Burke are also in the mix, and with Burke's emergence and Jack's veteran presence being mainstays on the team, Ntilikina's playing time could be even more effected now. 

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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks rookie guard Frank Ntilikina said he is looking forward to working with newly-acquired point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in New York's crowded backcourt.

"We're going to bring each other to the top to make the Knicks a competitive team," Ntilikina said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

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Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Frank Ntilikina hasn't started a game during his rookie season with the Knicks but Jeff Hornacek says that could change later in the year.

The Knicks traded for G Emmanuel Mudiay on Thursday, sending F Doug McDermott the other way. With Mudiay's arrival, as well as Jarrett Jack and Trey Burke still on the roster, Ntilikina's road to starting isn't quite empty.

"It could be down the line," Hornacek said, via Ian Begley of ESPN. "We don't know. We'll see what happens in the next week or so. We have four more games before the All-Star break. We'll continue to monitor that."

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Jan 16, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) drives to the basket past Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) during the first half at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Humphreys)
Jan 16, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) drives to the basket past Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) during the first half at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Humphreys)

Before acquiring Emmanuel Mudiay, the Knicks explored trading for a similar player: Elfrid Payton, according to Frank Isola of NY Daily News.

Isola reports that the Magic wanted Frank Ntilikina in return, which the Knicks would not do. Instead, they turned their attention to Mudiay for Doug McDermott and a second round pick, a lesser package because the Knicks didn't view McDermott in their long-term plans. 

Payton and Mudiay are similar players. They are young, former lottery picks who are athletic but struggle shooting. Mudiay is considered to be a slightly better defender and is younger. Shortly after the Knicks completed the Mudiay deal, Payton was traded to the Suns for a second-round pick. 

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