Rumors have began circulating about the New York Knicks moving on from former lottery pick Frank Ntilikina.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks will be looking to move on from Ntilikina for the right price:
“They also will look into offers for Ntilikina to see if they can add another early second-round or late first-round pick. Ntilikina has been a disappointment in his first two seasons and will make $5 million next season.”
This is a situation that Elton Brand and the Sixers should closely monitor. The asking price for Ntilikina appears to be very low, considering he was the eighth overall pick just two years ago.
Frank Ntilikina could be a very valuable piece to the Sixers. His offensive game has come and (mostly) gone, but he has proven to be a good overall defender in the league. He’s a big guard at 6-foot-6 with an impressive 7-foot-1 wingspan, and can even switch onto forwards at times.
Ntilikina could be the perfect bench defender for the Sixers, who have lacked a consistent ball-stopper against opposing guards.
While Ntilikina is still raw, he would be a massive upgrade in terms of fit for the Sixers. Ntilikina isn’t afraid of shooting the three and can easily play on and off the ball. He would be a defensive upgrade over TJ Mcconnell (who will likely leave the team in free agency).
There’s a lot to like about Frank Ntilikina as a prospect, and it’s important to remember that he’s still only twenty years old. He’s got plenty of time to develop.
The Sixers have to seriously look at this situation as they have the assets to easily obtain him. Ntilikina will almost certainly have a higher ceiling than any prospect in the late first round.
The Sixers could take a chance on him and put themselves into a low risk high reward situation.
There’s obviously still a chance that Ntilikina will never pan out. Even if the Sixers struck out on him panning out, they could still gain from the trade.
First off, Ntilikina is on a very cheap contract; making approximately $4.8 million in the upcoming season, and $6.1 million the next.
The Sixers could benefit from his contract by using him to match salary in a possible trade. The Sixers will be very limited in cap space flexibility, and Ntilikina could help that going forward. His salary could help match potential trade targets in the future.
They could also simply not pick up his final team option; leaving them with no financial burden in the upcoming future.
The Knicks shouldn’t be giving up in their young point guard yet, but Elton Brand can take advantage of what has become James Dolan’s circus of a team. Study up on your Frank Ntilikina film, Sixer fans.