Tom Thibodeau has privately said Frank Ntilikina can develop into future cog for Knicks

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Frank Ntilikina walks off court vs. Pistons
Frank Ntilikina walks off court vs. Pistons

Frank Ntilikina scored 13 points in 27 minutes on Thursday night as he played a key role in helping the severely undermanned Knicks outlast the Orlando Magic.

Ntilikina, getting key minutes with Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and Elfrid Payton all out, played hard and aggressive, at one point driving to the rim and executing a hard finish before mugging for the camera.

So what does the future hold for the enigmatic guard?

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has expressed confidence in Ntilikina in public and, per SNY's Ian Begley, Thibodeau has in the past said privately that he believes Ntilikina has the potential to develop into a player who can help the Knicks in the future.

The Knicks have a deadline of sorts approaching for Ntilikina.

Since he will be a free agent this offseason, the Knicks could trade him prior to the March 25 deadline in order to get back assets if they decide they aren’t going to re-sign him in the offseason.

They could also keep him past the deadline and look to re-sign him in the offseason.