Knicks select Frank Ntilikina with the 8th draft pick
- Updated: June 23, 2017
Phil Jackson did not trade away Kristaps Porzingis in spite of the rumors circulating the Big Apple days before the draft.
Instead, he selected another European player, Frank Ntilikina from France, with the 8th pick. Originating from Rwanda, born in Belgium and raised in France, the 6 foot 5, 190 pounds is, according to NBADraft.net one of the best international players of his generation.
He is said to be an excellent defender who can switch all the perimeter positions. He can handle the ball well and due to his athleticism is good on ISO situations.
“The big thing we liked about him is he’s got size. Our game is really about length and about activity. We have to have more of a defensive presence and I thought last year we started to play better defense even though it wasn’t reflected in wins or points scored against. We had players that wanted to get up and be aggressive defensively and play hard and that’s the context we want to carry onto this next year and this is a young man who fits that well.”
– Phil Jackson
Alongside Ntilikina, Jackson drafted two more guards in the second round.
With the 44th pick came Damyean Dotson, who played 2 years for Oregon and another 2 years for Houston. As a senior, the 23 years old averaged 17.4 points and 5.9 rebounds. He has an excellent catch-and-shoot ability but also a great jumper. His weakness is his strength against bigger guards although he is a solid defender.
With the 58th pick, the Knicks drafted Serbian Ognjen Jaramaz. The 22-year-old 6 foot 4 194 pounds plays for Mega Bemax Belgrad, the team that Nikola Jokic played for, is said to be an athletic point guard that likes to attack the rim and dunk the ball but his outside shooting still needs to improve.