As the New York Knicks wait patiently for the offseason to begin – with the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency scheduled to be postponed to mid-November – a top priority remains to improve their playmaker position. Still, it’s possible that Tom Thibodeau might find some value in the guards already on the roster.
Last week a report surfaced that Thibodeau was “in love” with Dennis Smith Jr. when he was leaving college in 2018, something that has since been characterized as “continuing belief” in the young guard who fought during his first season. complete with the Knicks.
New York has two 2018 draft point guards entering the final season of their rookie scale contracts. In addition to Smith, Frank Ntilikina will try to support his cause for a second contract in New York next season. According to Jonathan Macri of the Knicks Film School, the French guard is currently “drawn in pencil as a starter,” something Macri admits may change based on how the roster is reworked this offseason.
“Frank Ntilikina, I am told, is currently written in pencil as an appetizer, although this can – and if I had to guess it will probably change – once they tinker with the roster,” Macri wrote in his newsletter on Friday. “They also told me that reports of Thibs’ continued trust in the DSJ are absolutely legitimate. How much faith do you have and how much are you willing to put the fate of New York in someone who was pretty awful last season? Your guess is as good as mine. “
The Knicks have been linked to Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul as a potential business partner in recent days.
While it’s entirely plausible that neither Smith nor Ntilikina will become key pieces for the Knicks under team president Leon Rose, there appears to be at least some intrigue from their recently hired veteran coach. Perhaps under Thibodeau’s tutelage, the Knicks can turn one (if not both) of the players into valuable assets this season.