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Donovan Mitchell says Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina was ‘one of the hardest guys I had to go against last year’

Donovan Mitchell, Frank Ntilikina, Jazz, Knicks

The New York Knicks may have whiffed on the opportunity to select guard Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 NBA Draft. However, it seems even Mitchell feels the Knicks still made a solid selection in guard Frank Ntilikina.

Ntilikina was notably absent once again during New York’s recent abysmal loss at the hands of Utah. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Mitchell thinks it is only a matter of time before he starts to emerge as an elite defender:

“When he gets a chance, he’ll figure it out,” Donovan Mitchell said of Frank Ntilikina.

“He’s a great defender. He was one of the hardest guys I had to go against last year. He came in in the second half and shut me down when we played here.”

There is no question that the Knicks could have used Ntilikina’s defense after getting blown out by the Jazz 137-116 at the Garden. Mitchell took full advantage of the fact that New York did not have a single defender that could keep up with him on the perimeter. He reminded fans in The Big Apple what could have been after dropping 20 points on 12-of-20 shooting to go with five assists and three rebounds.

It is no secret that Frank Ntilikina has struggled to find his footing since his arrival in the NBA. Mitchell appears to be well-aware of all the flak the Knicks get for their choice in the draft. Regardless, it is clear that he still has plenty of respect for what his fellow class member brings to the table. Only time will tell whether or not Mitchell’s comments prove to be true.