The New York Knicks' second-year guard Frank Ntilikina has been a hot topic in trade rumors this season, with his poor shooting from the floor and recent string of DNP-CD's only intensifying the murmurs. Ntilikina is still just 20 years old and a fantastic defender for his age, leaving many fans optimistic he can turn this season around and continue to improve into a solid NBA player. However, if the front office deems him too much of a project, they could entertain some offers. Here are five potential trades with the five rumored teams interested in Ntilikina.
Frank Ntilikina for Jonathan Isaac
The Orlando Magic have a serious hole at point guard, with DJ Augustin manning the starting unit and the struggling Jerian Grant as backup. They've long searched for a young franchise piece at the one, with Elfrid Payton once being the guy before dealing him to the Phoenix Suns. If they believe Ntilikina can step into that role, they could look to move Jonathan Isaac, a fellow second-year player and New York native. He'd make for an interesting pairing with Kristaps Porzingis as someone who could potentially switch and defend multiple positions while playing either forward spot. Orlando has a few too many frontcourt prospects, so balancing out its core a bit could be intriguing. An alternative is dealing Grant and a first-round pick, perhaps with some protections, for Ntilikina.
Frank Ntilikina and Lance Thomas for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jared Dudley
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is an impressive prospect when he's out there in a Nets jersey, but hampering injuries have kept him in street clothes for much of his young career. His wing defense and herky-jerky offensive game could be a boon for New York. He's much more ready to contribute to winning than Ntilikina, especially as a cutter/short roll dump-off option to someone like Kevin Durant. The sweetener for the Knicks is swapping Lance Thomas's two-year deal for Dudley's expiring contract. Brooklyn would be getting younger at the point guard position where Spencer Dinwiddie is likely on his way out, and would be betting on the long-term improvement of Ntilikina over RHJ's shaky history with injury.
Frank Ntilikina for Dragan Bender and Elie Okobo
This is essentially a flip of two disappointing lottery picks, with the Knicks hoping Dragan Bender can live up to the praise he once received as potentially the next Porzingis. Having another developing player whose build is so similar to Porzingis's could be tricky, but Kristaps could help in mentoring Bender and maybe digging him out of the rough start he's had to his career. Elie Okobo is a very intriguing point guard prospect, and should be sought after in any Ntilikina trade involving the Suns.
Frank Ntilikina for Tyus Jones and a future pick
Head coach Tom Thibodeau loves him some defense, and Ntilikina would bring that in abundance. The Knicks would get a young point guard back in Tyus Jones, who has been a bit shaky this season but has steadily improved throughout his NBA career otherwise. He could potentially bring a Trey Burke-esque scoring punch down the line, with his only being 22 years old.
Frank Ntilikina for Ivan Rabb, Dillon Brooks and a first-round pick
The Grizzlies, lacking an abundance of youth or backup point guard assistance, are another team that has been mentioned in Ntilikina rumors. They don't have a lot to offer the Knicks, especially with there being little chance Jaren Jackson Jr. is on the table. But Dillon Brooks had some bright moments in his rookie year last season, some crafty wing scoring that the Knicks could use. Ivan Rabb has only seen scant playing time, but two prospects and a pick on top isn't a bad consolation prize for Ntilikina.