New York Knicks must be patient with Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks. Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
New York Knicks. Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

After trade rumors swirling, New York Knicks must let Frank Ntilikina have more time to grow

Frank Ntilikina has been no stranger to trade rumors this past offseason. With the pressure in New York, The eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft hasn’t progressed as much as New York Knicks fans would have liked these past couple years. With a brand new team coming to Madison Square Garden into the 2019-2020 season, there is no reason to give up on Ntilikina just yet.

It’s clear to say the numbers haven’t screamed future star just yet. In his rookie year, Ntilikina averaged just 5.9 points on 21.9 minutes per game. The next year was virtually the same, averaging 5.7 points on 21 minutes per game, but we must add his issues with his groin injuries into that equation as well. His shooting is definitely something he must work on, as hitting jump shots always seemed to be a problem for him his rookie season. Nothing changed as we saw in the second season, as he shot 33.7 percent on field goals in his shortened year. While his offensive numbers don’t look promising, the stronger side has always been his defense, and if he can only improve on his defense more with his 7’1 wingspan, he can outweigh some of those offensive struggles.

His second season would probably be liked to be forgotten about by both Frank and the Knicks organization considering he only played 43 games and showed no signs on progression.

The Knicks had a busy offseason this year, and when it was all said and done, Ntilikina will have a lot of competition going into this season with Dennis Smith Jr. and the edition of Elfrid Payton this past offseason. If he wants to push for more minutes as it may be a challenge for him, he must show a new side to himself and be much more aggressive and shows that the Knicks made the right decision to keep him for his third year.

Like I mentioned before, the Knicks had a hectic offseason, even it if wasn’t what they were hoping. They added notable players such as Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris, and Reggie Bullock. Many of these signings can also be utilized for their veteran presence to the young guys such as Ntilikina. At only 21 years old, he has a lot more growing and developing to do, and signing these types of players can only help him throughout the season.

These next couple of seasons for the Knicks are no championship season whatsoever, and they still face a lot of question marks, so why let Ntilikina go? Drafted at 18, the Knicks knew he was a project that needed time to grow into himself. Now just turned 21 not too long ago, there should be no reason to try and trade him away for hopefully a second-round pick. Giving him more minutes throughout the season could have a significant boost in his confidence. Also having the young core of him, RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox, they could quickly develop more with the newly acquired signings the Knicks made.

Rutgers football: McLane Carter wins this round of QB battle. dark. Next

Even after all the rumors, Ntilikina still seems to be in good spirits heading into the year. He has stated he is always happy to be here and appears ready to bring on his new challenge. If given the right opportunity and patience, Knicks fans will understand he was worth the wait.