The Knicks selected point guard Frank Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the NBA Draft on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Ntilikina, 18, was the MVP of the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship in 2016 and is a two-time French League Best Young Player winner.
In 44 games of international competition for Strasbourg in 2016-17, Ntilikina averaged 5.3 points and three assists per game. He is known for his versatility and high IQ, according to Mike Schmitz of Draft Express.
This draft so far comes as a relief to Knicks fans all around. First and foremost, it looks as though Kristaps Porzingis will stay put. On the other hand, the Bulls selecting Lauri Markkanen at seventh overall ended the radical possibility of Phil Jackson taking a major gamble.
The Knicks needed a point guard, and certainly had their pick of quality prospects with Dennis Smith Jr. and Malik Monk still on the board. Coincidentally enough, Ntilikina happens to be a much better natural fit. He's the youngest player in the draft class and is an absolute pest on the defensive end.
Ntilikina has a decent mid-range jumper and has an unselfish mindset about him, even if his facilitating skills need to develop. The room to grow is there. Selecting him means the Knicks are prepared to be patient and nurture a very talented young core.
Ntilikina has played at the professional level overseas and is used to competing at a high level. His acquisition gives New York even more international flavor, further cementing a sound identity. This is a good pick.