Frank Ntilikina all in on playing for France in FIBA World Cup
Last summer, Ntilikina declined to play for France in FIBA World Cup qualifiers in order to work with Knicks coaches.
Berman notes that New York must decide in late October on whether or not it wants to exercise Ntilikina’s fourth-year option, which would pay him $6.1 million in 2020-21. Getting to watch Ntilikina in the World Cup will help the Knicks make that decision.
Ntilikina was originally selected by New York with the eighth overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft and has been a fairly big disappointment thus far.
He played in 78 games during his rookie campaign, averaging 5.9 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds over 21.9 minutes per game while shooting 36.4 percent from the floor, 31.8 percent from three-point range and 72.1 percent from the free-throw line.
Then, this past season, he appeared in just 43 contests due to a groin injury and registered 5.7 points, 2.8 assists and two boards across 21 minutes a night while making 33.7 percent of his field-goal attempts, 28.7 percent of his long-distance tries and 76.7 percent of his foul shots.
Due to the fact that Ntilikina actually regressed during his second season, the Knicks debated trading the 20-year-old at the deadline back in February, but they were not able to find a good enough return worth justifying a deal.
Ntilikina excels on the defensive end of the floor, but his offensive game obviously leaves much to be desired.