Get to know Frank Ntilikina: A potential lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
International players entering the NBA draft bring a certain amount of intrigue, and that's the case with French point guard Frank Ntilikina. He was ultimately selected by the New York Knicks at No. 8 overall.
Ntilikina has been on the international scene for a while, playing for France in the 2014 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship with the Under-16 French Junior National Team and the 2016 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship.
In the 2016 FIBA Europe tournament, Ntilikina averaged more than 15 points and four assists, scoring 31 points in the championship game. He earned the tournament's Most Valuable Player honors.
Learn more about Nitilinka with SI.com's scouting report and fast facts.
Frank Ntilikina scouting report
Stats (All competitions): 5.7 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.6 APG, 45% FG, 39% 3FG
Bio: Ntilikina has long been considered the draft’s top overseas prospect, thanks to a blend of size, playmaking potential and athletic ability that could make him an outstanding defender and solid lead guard. He played around 19 minutes per game this season and his averages are somewhat skewed, but he stood out at the 2016 U18 European Championships and has plenty of potential in this range. In a thinner lottery, he’d have a chance to go higher in the draft.
Strengths: An extremely well-built ball-handler, Ntilikina is developing nicely as a three-point shooter and has an overall advanced profile at a very young age. He’s an aggressive defender who uses his length to create turnovers and pressure opponents. He’s long and has the the size to see over defenses and defend both guard spots. There’s a lot of upside here.
Weaknesses: Teams are working off a small, limited sample size, and Ntilikina isn’t the most experienced relative to a lot of guys who make the leap from Europe. He’ll have to adapt to the demands of full time point guard duty and prove he can produce once handed the reins. He’s not extremely explosive and likely won’t be a prolific scorer on a regular basis without marked improvements.
- Jeremy Woo
There was a lot of talk about the Knicks’ affection for Ntilikina, who’s considered the top overseas prospect in this draft and now the highest-drafted French player in league history. New York needed to address its backcourt and did so here, although high-scoring and arguably stronger options Dennis Smith and Malik Monk were available. The Knicks have had a strong run drafting internationally in recent years, so they’ve earned a bit of trust, but the 18-year-old Ntilikina has a long way to go and will face a lot of pressure immediately. At the very least, fans can take solace in the fact Kristaps Porzingis appears to be staying put. – Jeremy Woo
Fast facts about Frank Ntilikina:
Birthday: July 28, 1998
Position: Point guard
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hometown: Strasbourg, France