NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If Frank Ntilikina has his way, he’ll be learning from Derrick Rose this fall.
The Knicks, however, appear to have other ideas.
Hoping to inject a veteran into the point guard mix so that Ntilikina, the No. 8 overall pick in last month’s draft, can learn a thing or two about the rigors of playing the position in the NBA, New York is reportedly shopping for some help.
But according to the Daily News, general manager Steve Mills, who is running the show in the wake of Phil Jackson’s dismissal, doesn’t want to re-sign Rose, one of the lone higher-profile free agents still available as of Tuesday morning.
“He’s the youngest MVP of the NBA history, I can learn from (Rose),” Ntilikina said Monday. “It would be good. He’s done a lot of things in his career. For sure it would be good. I’m not controlling what management is doing. I trust the management and the coaching staff to do what’s best for the team.”
Rose averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists last season, his first with the Knicks after coming over in a trade with the Chicago Bulls during the previous offseason. Rose also shot 47 percent from the floor, his best effort since 2009-10, but converted on just 21.7 percent from 3-point range, the worst effort of his eight-year career.
In addition to Rose, the most noteworthy free agent still available heading into Tuesday was veteran George Hill, but he reportedly ended up agreeing to a three-year, $57 million deal with the Sacramento Kings. Hill was very impressive for the Utah Jazz last season, averaging 16.9 points and 4.2 assists, while shooting 40 percent from behind the arc, in 49 games.
At this point in his professional career, Ntilikina, who is all of 18 years old, is considered a project on the offensive side of the ball. As WFAN.com’s John Schmeelk revealed in his detailed draft profile, Ntilikina is projected to be an excellent defensive player, due in part to his quick feet and 7-foot wingspan. However, as far as running an NBA-style offense goes, he has a lot to learn, and, ideally, the Knicks likely would prefer to not throw him into the starting mix to begin next season.
But with the front office reportedly determined to take its time rebuilding the franchise, New York remains in wait-and-see mode. Barring a complete 180 in philosophy, the Knicks are not expected to take on significant term with players they do acquire this summer.
Ntilikina has missed the last three Summer League games down in Orlando, Florida, due to a knee bruise. He said he’s unsure if he’ll play in the final two games, Wednesday and Thursday.
“For sure, I want to play,” Ntilikina said. “That’s why I’m here: play and play a lot. Improve. To me being on the sides is a pain but I had a long season with my team and we talk a lot with the coaching staff and the trainers. The main thing is to not let this injury be worse. Definitely I’m sad about it but I have to be careful.”