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According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, and Mike Vorkunov of the Athletic, Knicks combo guard Frank Ntilikina is drawing interest from three teams including the Suns, Magic and Grizzlies.
The news of Orlando’s interest broke yesterday, but the Suns and Grizzlies are both new to the sweepstakes for the 20-year-old guard.
The news is unsurprising for the Suns and Magic, two teams in need of a starting caliber point guard, but the Grizzlies may be looking for more solid defenders to shore up their “Grindhouse” roster.
Ntilikina has seen only 15 minutes of floor time in each of the last two games, putting up zero total points through both of those efforts. But, both the Suns and the Magic already have quality scoring options, and may just be looking for someone to handle the ball.
Though he’s only averaging 5.9 points per game this year, Ntilikina is a solid defensive option from the guard position, and his impact would be large on both the Suns and the Magic, who are in need of young talent.
Ntilikina is younger than Suns rookie Deandre Ayton by five days, so he would fit in perfectly with the developing young core, especially when the pressure of scoring is off his shoulders. The Suns waived point guard Isaiah Canaan this week, leaving a roster spot for a potential trade.
The Magic have the same team build with plenty of young scorers with the propensity to run. They’re currently starting DJ Augustin, and are in need of an upgrade at that position, despite the fact that Augustin is having a solid year.
The Grizzlies have had their best start in a few years, and adding Ntikilina to the roster would make them one of, if not the best defensive team in the NBA. The Grizzlies currently rank fifth in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing just 104.9 points per 100 possessions. The Grizzlies also signed Joakim Noah today, who has been known for his defense throughout his career.