New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina? Dennis Smith Jr and Malik Monk were available
The New York Knicks continue to show that trusting in Phil Jackson may not be the smartest decision. For most of us, the name Frank Ntilikina means nothing. Just another name that’s hard to spell and pronounce for us New Yorkers. However, Jackson has had some success going the foreign route as he believed in a kid named Kristaps Porzingis 2 years back. Can he pull a rabbit out of the hat again? Knicks fans are hoping so.
If this fails and blows up in his face, the Knicks faithful will boycott Madison Square Garden and rightfully so.
With the Knicks holding the No. 8 pick in the NBA Draft they had a chance to grab 2 players who fans may have actually seen play during their collegiate careers. One was Dennis Smith Jr and the other was Malik Monk. Either player could’ve come in and taken the starting job. But Jackson was looking for a player he thinks can run the Triangle Offense. Only a select few have run it with success and they are retired.
With Derrick Rose looking for work elsewhere, the Knicks were in desperate need for a starting PG. With Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox off the board the next best PG was easily Smith Jr. Maybe he was a bit too explosive for the Knicks offense. He could easily pass for a pre-injured Rose or Russell Westbrook and that was a no-no for Jackson.
Courtney Lee is not the best offensive weapon. Truth be told– he is better suited for a reserve role. The Knicks had a chance to place him there if they would have removed their head from their asses and took Malik Monk. Monk is a scorer. His job is to put the ball in the hoop and maybe Jackson was having flashbacks of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and figured this kid could turn into something great– so he passed.
Not to take anything away from Ntilikina, he was named the MVP of the Under-18 2016 FIBA Championship but his competition did not feature Stephen Curry or Kyle Lowry. Maybe he turns into another Tony Parker but even Parker had Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan to lean on. Hell, by the start of the season, the Knicks may be without Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony. So I guess it’s safe to say that Ntilikina is the new face of the Knicks.
Jackson drafted Porzingis based on skills, while he may have drafted Frank Ntilikina out of spite. Maybe he wants the Knicks and their fans to hate him. So far so good Phil.