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Frank Ntilikina getting chance with Mavericks after sad Knicks ending

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Frank Ntilikina is finally closing on his next NBA chance.

The former Knicks draft pick is close to a deal with the Mavericks, Marc Stein reported on Wednesday. The report states that a deal is expected in the coming days with training camps set to open Sept. 28.

The Knicks took Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but he never developed into the offensive threat they hoped.

Ntilikina, 23, saw his playing time plummet under Tom Thibodeau last season, behind Elfrid Payton and Derrick Rose on the Knicks’ point guard depth chart. Ntilikina appeared in 33 games last season, averaging 2.7 points per game.

“Not playing is not easy for a player,’’ Ntilikina told French publication L’equipe ahead of the Olympics in July. “I would definitely like to play more. But I train all season long. And because I’m still a young player, I know I have a lot of things of my game that I can improve on in future seasons.

Frank Ntilikina is close to a deal with the Mavericks.
Corey Sipkin

“This is what I did this season offensively in games with the Knicks as soon as I had playing time, being at my advantage over the opponent’s point guards.”

Ntilikina will be reunited with former Knicks teammates Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. after both were traded to Dallas in 2019.

The Knicks’ point guard situation changed dramatically this offseason with the signing of Kemba Walker, with hopes of finally adding stability to a position that has plagued them for years. The team also drafted Miles McBride out of West Virginia and re-signed Rose.



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