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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / September 26.
  • Frank Ntilikina Could be Good Fit for Knicks’ Triangle Offense

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    Frank Ntilikina, a target of the Knicks and other teams in the upcoming NBA Draft, could be an ideal fit for the triangle offense.

    Knicks GM Steve Mills saw the 6-foot-5 Ntilikina play on Tuesday for Strasbourg in a French League game, per the New York Post.

    “Actually, he fits the triangle [offense] really well because he’s not a really a one or a two,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla said this week on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “He’s just a 6-foot-5, 18-year-old guard.”

    Ntilikina is currently projected at No. 10 to the Sacramento Kings by DraftExpress.com, which also has the Knicks taking Kentucky shooting guard Malik Monk at No. 7.

    If the Knicks do select Ntilikina, Fraschilla said he could get booed on Draft night the same way Kristaps Porzingis was in 2015.

    “He will get the same reception that Porzingis got on draft night two years ago because people don’t know him like they know Dennis Smith and De’Aaron Fox and the others,” Fraschilla said, referring to several point guards projected to go in the lottery.

    Fox will be at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago next week, while Ntilikina, Monk and Smith will not.

    Knicks executives figure to be at the Combine as they continue to attempt to improve their team amid speculation that they might deal Carmelo Anthony this summer and the latest report that they fielded calls for Porziginis after he skipped his exit meeting with President Phil Jackson.

    “I got to see [Ntilikina] in Michael Jordan’s gym last summer because he was here in New York, but Frank is a tremendous prospect,” Fraschilla said. “He’s not as polished as [projected No. 1 pick Markelle] Fultz or [Lonzo] Ball right now but playing at a high level in France and playing his best right now. And he’s playing in a league that has put out a lot of NBA players, the French Pro A league has guys all over the NBA, Rudy Gobert, [Boris] Diaw, [Tony] Parker], [Kevin] Seraphin] and others.

    “So I think Frank would fit the triangle because he’s a multi-dimensional, 6-foot-5 guard with tremendous ceiling because he’s playing at high level at a very young age. He’s not got the attention that the college guys got, but he’ll still be a guy that goes in the top 10 or 11 picks in the draft. I wouldn’t be surprised by the time we get to June 22nd that he starts to slide up to eight or seven because I’m not enamored with some of the guys that the mega-draft bloggers have in those spots right now.”

    Photo: DraftExpress.com

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.