Knicks' GM: Adding Mudiay no shot at Ntilikina

From ESPN - February 9, 2018

Some see the New York Knicks' trade for point guard Emmanuel Mudiay as a sign that the organization has lost faith in rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina.

Knicks general manager Scott Perry poked holes in that theory Friday.

"The organization is not down on Frank," Perry said in a conference call. "He's going to be fine. This is not in any way a negative reflection on him and who we think he's going to be and who he has an opportunity to be. I have said to you many times, he's a 19-year-old kid who has some very good tools and a lot of upside."

Perry said he envisions Mudiay and Ntilikina "competing with one another, and alongside one another, and learning from one another." He also believes Ntilikina can share the same backcourt with the 21-year-old Mudiay.

"I think it will help each one of these guys, really," Perry said. "I am excited to see how [it] manifests itself on the court. I think there's some promising options that could lie here."

The Knicks traded Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick away in a three-team deal with the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets that netted Mudiay. Perry on Friday labeled the trade as the "talent-acquisition phase" of roster construction in New York, an indication that the club faces a long rebuild ahead with star Kristaps Porzingis sidelined for at least 10 months with a left ACL tear.

Prior to the Porzingis injury, the Knicks held out hope of making the playoffs. With Porzingis out, the Knicks' focus has shifted to the 2018 NBA draft and to acquiring young players like Mudiay in low-risk acquisitions.


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