Frank Ntilikina continues to train in France, seems more and more jerked off

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The playoffs are in full swing, which means the Knicks have been in offseason mode for quite some time now, and Frank Ntilikina has apparently spent a lot of the downtime getting hurt as he prepares for his fourth. NBA season.

Ntilikina was a skinny 18-year-old, 6-foot-5 when the Knicks drafted him with the 8th overall pick in 2017. Although he has been described as a long-term project, the start of his first season featured a little magic. in the form of an outstanding basketball game from Kristaps Porzingis which led to some big wins and perhaps contributed to prematurely heightened expectations for the Frenchman.

A simple puppy.
Photo de Nathaniel S.Butler / NBAE via Getty Images

Ntilikina has been plagued with a lack of playing time due to inconsistencies and various injuries in his first three seasons. His shooting and counting stats were below average. Fortunately, the Knicks have always chosen his option for the 2020-21 campaign, which means that if the team doesn’t extend his contract at some point before the end of next year, he will become a restricted free agent.

As a restricted free agent, Frank would have the right to sign an offer sheet anywhere, but the Knicks would have the right to match any offer in order to retain him. If you’ve ever seen the idea of ​​another team signing one of New York’s restricted free agents to a huge bid sheet, maybe that’s because that’s how the Houston Rockets were able to. catch Jeremy Lin in the first offseason after Linsanity.

There’s a lot of talk to be had as to whether or not the Knicks will seek to lock down Ntilikina before he reaches free agency, but that’s another talk for a different day. This entire intro was a great prologue to the main point of the post. Frank is no longer a fresh-faced teenager who comes to prom with the big boys. He’s 22 now, and he looks broken.

Obviously, Ntilikina has hit the gym this offseason. Maybe he looked at the bubble and realized that the playoffs are not for lightweight.

Unfortunately, it will be some time before Ntilikina plays meaningful basketball with the Knicks. But when the team gets back to business, he’ll have a defensive-minded coach who could appreciate both the intangibles Frank can provide and the potential he clearly has.

Perhaps the extra strength will give Ntilikina the confidence to start next season with the fervor with which he ended it; In the last five games of the year, Ntilikina has averaged 9 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal per game while shooting an identical 43% both on the field and on the three-point line and 83% from the free throw line, including an impressive performance of 20 points, 10 assists, 2 steals in a loss to the Washington Wizards.

There is still time for Frank’s future to be filled with great things, starting with his own muscles.

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