Relaymedia

NBA Draft Rumors: Knicks Expected to Select French Star Frank Ntilikina Seventh Overall

( [email protected] ) May 04, 2017 12:56 PM EDT
Fans of the New York Knicks have something to look forward to this summer after a horrendous season full of poor play, controversies and embarrassing situations. The Knicks are expected to land the seventh overall pick in this year's draft and they are rumored to be interested in selecting French point guard Frank Ntilikina.
Frank Ntilikina is one of the top prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft. Athletic Affairs/YouTube

Fans of the New York Knicks have something to look forward to this summer after a horrendous season full of poor play, controversies and embarrassing situations. The Knicks are expected to land the seventh overall pick in this year's draft and they are rumored to be interested in selecting French point guard Frank Ntilikina.

The Knicks' 2016-17 season started out well as the team played great in the first two months of the season. They were on the thick of the playoff race and there was a legit chance of making it into the postseason. However, things went south after Christmas and it was all downhill from there.

Phil Jackson started calling out Carmelo Anthony, players questioned the triangle offense and how could anyone forget the embarrassing Charles Oakley incident at Madison Square Garden. It was the low-point of the Knicks season and there's no way but up for the team.

The good news starts in the 2017 NBA Draft where the Knicks have a lottery pick. Fans would love to get the luck of the bounce and get the first overall pick but they are projected to land the seventh overall selection, per Daniel O'Brien of FanRag Sports.

Luckily for the Knicks, the 2017 NBA Draft class is deep and it's full of really talented players. The Knicks need a new playmaker after Derrick Rose underwent his fourth knee surgery last month. Rose is a free agent at the end of the season and he is surely gone from New York.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks are interested in drafting Frank Ntilikina with the seventh overall pick. General manager Steve Mills reportedly flew to France earlier this week to watch the 18-year-old point guard play for Strasbourg against Nanterre in the French League.

The current Knicks regime headed by Phil Jackson has a history of drafting international players. In 2015, Mills liked what he saw from players named Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez. Fast forward to two seasons, Porzingis and Hernangomez are the cornerstones of the Knicks for the next several seasons.

However, the Knicks also have a bad history of drafting international players, especially those who were from France. Frederic Weis, who got dunked on by Vince Carter in the 2000 Olympics, was drafted in the first round in 1999 but he did not play in the NBA. Louis Labeyrie, who was a second-round pick in 2014, is showing no signs of leaving Europe to play in the United States.

As for how good Frank Ntilikina is, scouts love his potential as a two-way player in the NBA. He has the most defensive upside in all potential point guards in the 2017 NBA Draft, better than Markelle Fultz, the potential first overall selection.

The 18-year-old is also athletic and very unselfish for his age. He is a great pick-and-roll player who could excel in the triangle offense. He stands at 6-foot-5 but he needs to improve his 190-pound frame in order to survive the guard-heavy NBA.

"He's enjoyed an increased role for Strasbourg lately, including a 10-point, six-assist outing on April 11 and a nine-point game on April 15. Ntilikina shows tremendous poise, whether he's distributing in pick-and-rolls, shooting from distance or defending aggressively. He'd grow into a polished initiator for Jeff Hornacek's triangle offense, and he'd finally give the Knicks smart, agile defense in the backcourt," O'Brien reported.

The 2017 NBA Draft Lottery is on Tuesday, May 16 and it will be shown live on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, per SEC Country. On the other hand, the2017 NBA Draft is on Thursday, June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

  

Tags : NBA, NBA Draft Rumors, 2017 NBA Draft, New York Knicks, Phil Jackson, Frank Ntilikina