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What should be Frank Ntilikina’s Role this season?

He has the potential to grow into a perennial defensive player of the year candidate

SHENZHEN, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 03: #1 Frank Ntilikina of the France National Team reacts during the match against the Jordan National Team during the 1st round of 2019 FIBA World Cup at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center on September 03, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

The Frank Ntilikina at point guard project has not been a good experience so far for the New York Knicks. Frank was promoted as the Knicks’ point guard of the future but Emmanuel Mudiay was the starter last season. This season, it looks like the point guard battle will come down to Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton. It’s time to realize that Frank’s long term position isn’t at the point guard. 

Let’s take a look at the French Prince’s game. He’s a great on ball defender. He has length at 6’6 with a 7-foot wing span ( He is not much of a playmaker but can make run some plays for a few possessions. Also, for Frank to be more effective off the ball, he must improve his shooting. He is not much of a shooter (.287% from 3-point line last season) but he can improve. His future should be at either at the small forward or shooting guard position. 

The French Prince has a similar skill set and frame to Andre Igoudala, a super 3-and-D guy. Go after the role a 3-and-D guy who can make the occasional play with his ball handling abilities. He has potential to grow into a perennial defensive player of the year candidate but he needs more playing time. To obtain more minutes, he has to consistently make an impact on the game.

Frank is trying be to be a playmaker, which isn’t a strong asset of his game. The Knicks have plenty of playmakers with RJ Barrett, Smith Jr., and Payton. Even Julius Randle can make some plays. Frank can focus on how his strengths and not be forced into a role he is uncomfortable with. If Frank can use his skills and get decent minutes, we can see a completely different player. 

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