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.
"The organization is not down on Frank," Perry told The Post's Marc Berman. "I've spoken to Frank today. We'll continue to speak. He's excited about it. Everyone's committed to getting better. If you want to become a good team, you got to be resigned to adding players to our mix that will help our cause. He's going to be fine. It's not in any way a negative reflection on him and who we think he's going to be. He's a 19-year-ol kid with very good tools and a lot of upside. This will help his learning process."
However, head coach Jeff Hornacek still believes that Ntilikina could be in the starting role at some point this season.
"It could be down the line," Hornacek said, via Begley. "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."
Ntilikina is also confident in his abilities on the court.
"I feel I'm good here and people want me here," Ntilikina told Berman on Thursday, who has averaged 5.2 points, 3.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 52 games this season. "I'll keep working my game and be patient. I just think coach wants me to go through this process and be a better player…. I wish I'd be better. I keep working a lot and working hard to reach my potential."
Mudiay's first game will likely be this Sunday against the Pacers, so Ntilikina -- and the rest of the Knicks' fan base -- will see how it affects the rookie's minutes.