ROUNDBALL DAILY

NBA Draft Profile: Frank Ntilikina

Frank Ntilikina

6-5, Point Guard

France

STRENGTHS: This kid has tremendous potential on defense, showing a great instinct for coming up with steals, and a LeBron-like ability to time his jump and come up with blocks. He’s got great length for a point guard (a near 7-foot wingspan), and anticipates the next play extremely well. His instincts on D are elite, and he averaged 3.2 steals per 40 minutes in the U-18 Euro tournament.

NBADraft.net lists Dante Exum as Ntilikina’s comparison, which is apropos because Exum was the last international point guard to go in the lottery.

Ntilikina has a reliable jump shot and a good-looking stroke. He’s got a nice follow through and gets plenty of arc on the ball. He’s also got a quick release, and couldn’t be left open in the U-18 Euros. His pull-up jumper was solid as well.

WEAKNESSES: He’s a little slight of build, but his frame looks good, and he should be able to add the requisite muscle. He sometimes gambles too much on defense going for the steal, and may have a tendency to foul in those situations. He also hasn’t played big-time competition yet, so he’ll have a huge learning curve coming into the league. Ntilikina has elite athleticism, but needs to use it more often. He could stand to be more aggressive with the ball and attack the rim more. He’s a good passer, but doesn’t have elite court vision, and doesn’t seem to be the best at running an offense. He’s definitely a tick below the college guards at this point in his development.

BOTTOM LINE: Frank (we’re not typing out that last name again) has the chance to be one of the best defensive point guards in the NBA. At 19 and with a slight build, he’s going to need some time to develop (maybe some D-League time?). Still, there’s no doubt that the physical gifts are there. He may end up being more Dennis Schroder than Dante Exum, but if he can develop his offensive game, he’s got the chance to be a very good player. He may end up being more effective at the 2-guard than the point, though.

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