Kristaps Porzingis might no longer be the youngster of the New York Knicks organization after Thursday night’s NBA draft. That is if the Knicks draft who many believe they will: 18-year-old French point guard Frank Ntilikina.
Ntilikina, along with other top prospects, talked about potentially landing with the Knicks, who have the eighth overall pick in Thursday’s draft at Barclays Center.
“Just coming over here, it’s a good system for me,” Ntilikina said during Wednesday’s NBA draft media day at midtown’s Grand Hyatt New York. “I think I can fit in, and the organization is very good, so it’ll be great.”
Ntilikina is believed to be held in high regard by the Knicks because he fits into Knicks president Phil Jackson’s preferred triangle offense.
“I know it’s a good system, a lot of rules in place,” Ntilikina said of the triangle. “But I think the game I played with my team back in France is very similar to theses games, so I think it would be great for me to be here.
“[New York City] is a great city, great place, definitely one of the best places in the world. I love the atmosphere here.”
Ntilikina is one of several options who could be available when the Knicks pick. They are also linked to Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, Kentucky guard Malik Monk and North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith.
With the recent rumors of the Knicks open to trading Porzingis, Markkanen may become his replacement. The Knicks could also end up with both of them in the end.
“I can play with anyone,” Markkanen said about playing with Porzingis. “It doesn’t matter to me. He’s a great player, so it would be awesome.”
Monk and Smith, if selected by the Knicks, both look forward to playing at the Garden.
“I mean, Madison Square Garden is legendary,” Monk said. “Playing for the Knicks would be legendary. I’ll be happy wherever though.”
“I think it’ll be great,” Smith said. “Madison Square Garden is very historic and Phil Jackson is one of the greater minds in basketball. To have the opportunity would be a blessing.”