Frank Ntilikina profile
Drafted #8 in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Knicks
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
Weight: 170 lbs (77 kg)
Position: PG/SG
Hometown: Brussels, Belgium
Current Team: Hornets
Win - Loss: 21 - 61
Frank Ntilikina 2017 NBA Draft Scouting Video - Strengths


Breaking Down the 2017 NBA Draft's Loaded Guard Crop

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Jun 22, 2017, 11:50 am
Not as well-known among the casual fan as the college guards, Ntilikina is a high-floor prospect who is destined for, at the very least, a long career as a versatile, two-way player with a high IQ and professional approach to the game. With the physical profile of an NBA two guard (6'6 with a 7-foot wingspan and a projectable frame) and a high motor, Ntilikina projects as a three-position defender who can make a spot up three, play off of closeouts, execute the simple pass while on or off the ball, and use his long strides to slither his way to the rim out of pick and roll. A high character young man by way of Belgium (the son of Rwandan refugees), Ntilikina should be viewed as more of a slow and steady' prospect who isn't likely to provide much wow factor out of the gates like a De'Aaron Fox or Dennis Smith might.
While we weren't able to see his full arsenal of skills during his season with Strasbourg, where he played mostly off the ball, Ntilikina showed what he can do on the ball with a huge 2016 U18 European Championships, yet he's still a couple years from having a big offensive impact at the NBA level.
U18 European Championship Breakdown:

Ntilikina plays somewhat of a calculated game, and he's not all that explosive or shifty with the ball, making it essential that he's brought along slowly on the offensive end, being used as a defender/secondary ball handler in his NBA minutes, while playing strictly on the ball in the D-League.
Ntilikina is eventually going to be rock solid in almost any situation, because he's a willing defender with length, possesses a strong feel for the game, has pro experience at the ripe age of 18, and has turned himself into a fairly reliable shooter with time and space. Where Ntilikina may falter is if he's thrust into a huge role as a lead guard early on in his career.
Slipping' a bit in the draft may end up benefitting Ntilikina, as he'll likely end up on a more competitive team where he can play a role, as his point guard polish and shot creation continue to develop. Landing in Charlotte and learning from Kemba Walker, fellow Frenchmen Nicolas Batum and well-respected head coach Steve Clifford could provide Ntilikina with the basis he needs, especially considering the Hornets strong relationship with its D-League team in Greensboro.
Miami would also be a great place for Ntilikina to grow as his work ethic and approach would be welcomed by Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, who run arguably the most regimented organization in the NBA. Playing for one of the top coaches in the NBA and learning from a fellow international guard like Goran Dragic could be a perfect recipe for Ntilikina. Milwaukee is reportedly very high on him as well, but would likely have to move up.

Frank Ntilikina NBA Draft Scouting Report and Video Analysis

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Bogdan Karaicic
Bogdan Karaicic
Jun 20, 2017, 04:46 pm
Scouting Report by Matt Williams, Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz and Bogdan Karaicic
Among the more battle tested prospects in the 1998-born age group that is eligible to declare for the NBA Draft for the first time in 2017, Frank Ntilikina is in the midst of one of the longest seasons of any prospect in Europe.  He started the French League season in September, played 14 games in the FIBA Champions League, starred at the FIBA U18 European Championship which was delayed to December, and is still playing in the French League playoff Finals this week. 
Averaging 5.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists over 19 minutes per game on a talented team that features a number creative veteran ball-handlers, including A.J. Slaughter and Paul Lacombe, Ntilikina plays a significant role in his team's rotation, operating on and off the ball, even if he isn't much of a focal point in their offense.  After playing mostly at the junior level last season, scouts were able to watch him build a considerable body of work in two of Europe's more competitive leagues and help the French U18 national team go undefeated in Samsun, Turkey as he earned Most Valuable Player honors averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.2 steals per game despite suffering from the flu.

Ntilikina's intrigue at the next level starts with his physical tools. Standing 6'6 with a wingspan eclipsing 7'0, the Belgium-born point guard has tremendous size for either backcourt position, to go along with fluid athleticism.  He isn't overwhelmingly explosive or shifty, but his ability to guard multiple positions gives him some valuable versatility with regards to what types of guards he can be paired with. 
Past Ntilikina's physical tools, his development as a jump shooter has also opened up the possibility that he can play comfortably next to a ball-dominant guard, as he has done effectively for most of this season.  Regularly brining the ball up the floor before deferring to the players around him within Strasbourg's half-court offense, Ntilikina has made a serviceable 40% of his jump shots in the half court, shooting the ball with a somewhat slow release, but far more textbook, reliable mechanics this season, after connecting on a dismal 18% of his attempts last year.  Showing marked improvement as a set shooter in particular, Ntilikina remains streaky, struggling for stretches this season, but also made 43% of his spot up jumpers and a massive 68% of his pull-ups over six games at the U18 European Championship running far more hot than cold over the past year.
Ntilikina's improved shot making is significant, as it helps compensate for his lack of dynamic shot-creating ability.  The 18-year-old is by no means an inept floor general, as he has a strong feel for the game, navigates the pick and roll effectively, uses his size well as a passer, and can get to the rim with changes of speed and long strides to take what the defense gives him.  The challenge for Ntilikina at this stage is that he isn't particularly explosive with the ball, has a high handle, kills his dribble unnecessarily under duress, makes some occasional careless mistakes, and can't always turn the corner against more physically gifted defenders.  Combine those strengths and weaknesses as a lead guard with Ntilkina's defensive versatility and shooting, and he seems like an ideal candidate to play next to a ball-dominant scorer at either the one, two, or three, which can't be said for many young point guard prospects.

Though Ntilikina has some shortcomings as a slasher, shooting an average 52% finishing around the rim in the half court, there is still plenty of room for optimism regarding his offensive abilities.  A heady player who won't turn 19 until a month after the draft, Ntilkina does not often try to do too much, and could grow into a more dangerous weapon off the dribble as his pull-up jumper and frame continue to improve.  The massive leap he took as a perimeter shooter is a testament to his work ethic and bodes well for his future, as his ability to make incremental improvements offensively could help him develop into a terrific two-way role-player given what he already brings on the defensive end.
Among the top on-ball defenders in this draft, Ntilkina is arguably the most polished point guard in this class on that end of the floor, one of the reasons he was able to play such a significant role at the professional level while still figuring things out offensively.  Often picking up more experienced import guards full court, Ntilikina is an intelligent, hard-working defender who gets low, slides his feet, and does a great job cutting off penetration using his anticipation.  His length allows him to be a factor in the passing lanes while contesting shots on the perimeter and interior, and even if he needs to get stronger, he figures to be, at the very least, a solid system defender at the next level.
A fairly mature player who been scouted extensively aftera solid showing at the FIBA U16 European Championship all the way back in 2014, it is easy to forget the Ntilikina ranks as the second youngest player projected to get drafted (after Ike Anibogu).  His age has shown on occasion in the playoffs, as Ntilikina appears somewhat nervous at times, but the fact that he's playing a key role in games like these as an 18-year old is incredibly noteworthy.
A potential lottery pick in perhaps the most point guard-heavy draft in NBA history, Frank Ntilkina is among the more unique players in that talented group as his best long-term fit could just as easily be on the wing alongside the right teammates.  Possessing immense role-player potential and an excellent demeanor off the floor, Ntilikina is a very promising two-way player who could grow into a valuable piece for a contender down the road.

Frank Ntilikina U18 European Championship Scouting Analysis

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Bogdan Karaicic
Bogdan Karaicic
Mar 13, 2017, 10:47 pm
6'5 French guard and potential lottery pick Frank Ntilikina turned in an impressive six-game performance at the 2016 FIBA U18 European Championships in December, leading France to a title despite battling an illness early on in the tournament. After scoring only 7.3 points per game through the first three contests, Ntilikina finished the tournament averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 assists, 3.2 steals, 1.7 blocks and 5.0 turnovers per 40 minutes on 42.4% from two-point range and 58.6% from three-point range.

Ntilkinas 31-point outburst against Lithuania in the finals reminded NBA scouts why the Belgian-born Strasbourg product is considered a lottery-level prospect in the 2017 Draft. The long-armed, versatile guard was tremendous defensively and answered a lot of questions about his outside shot, scoring a ridiculous 1.727 points per possession (22 attempts) on pull up jumpers, far and away the best mark in the tournament. Heres a closer look at the strengths Ntilikina displayed throughout the tournament:

Ntilikina didnt play a flawless tournament, however, as his struggles finishing around the rim (1-of-5 in the half court), creating high percentage offense (42.4 2P%), and running the show versus pressure (22.8 turnover percentage) were apparent, especially early on. Heres an in-depth breakdown of some areas where Ntilikina has room to improve moving forward:

Fresh off of a season-best 15-point outing versus Aris in the Champions League, Ntilikina is one of the more steady guard prospects in this draft class as he defends multiple positions, can play on or off the ball, has a strong feel for the game and a mature professional approach, and has greatly improved as a shooter. Ntilikina may not be at the same level talent-wise as the top-tier American guards in the draft, but hes still a very intriguing long-term two-way prospect because of the aforementioned qualities.

2016 FIBA U18 European Championship Scouting Reports: Guards

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Dec 29, 2016, 03:40 am
Frank Ntilikina, 6'5", 18.3 years old, Point Guard, Strasbourg, France

-Strong physical tools for a point guard at 6'5 (possibly without shoes)
-Frame continues to fill out
-Has exceptional length
-Smooth athlete who can operate at different speeds
-Unselfish player who thinks the game at a high level
-Excellent court vision, particularly in the pick and roll, where he's capable of making complex reads and delivering the ball decisively and accurately in tight spaces for easy baskets.
-Plays the game with impressive confidence and poise.
-Significantly improved perimeter shooter, with feet set and especially off the bounce. Made shots at a very high rate all tournament long, with impressive volume, degree of difficulty and confidence. Has good touch, which lends itself to his ability to finish off the glass and convert from the free throw line.
-Made 17/29 3-pointers at the U18s and 12/13 FTs. Now 33/64 (52%) for 3 on the season in 27 games.
-Lockdown, multi-positional defender. Outstanding lateral quickness, footwork, timing, length and smarts allows him to smother opponents on the perimeter. Switches seamlessly between all three backcourt positions.
-Makes plays defensively on and off the ball. Reads the floor, knows the scouting report and where to position himself to rotate and help, far better than your average 18-year old.

-Lacks a degree of quickness from a stand-still, making it difficult for him to emerge as a high-volume, take-over, one on one player who can create something out of nothing with the clock running down in the half-court.
-More smooth and pacey than powerful or explosive. Not going to rise up in a crowd and finish over defenders in traffic, making it difficult for him to finish everything he creates inside the paint at times. Can improve his ability to use his off hand for finishes.
-Quiet guy who projects as more of a secondary option who excels playing off another elite-level shot-creator. Can get a bit passive or overly unselfish at times. Not exactly a take-over type mentality wise, even though he was forced to be that for France during this tournament. Better utilized as a versatile and intelligent piece alongside other good players rather than the hero who saves the day every time.
-Ball-handling skills can continue to be tightened. Was bothered at times by intense ball-pressure as his dribble is somewhat high and loose. 4.8 turnovers per-40 at U18s

Outlook: Forced to attend this tournament under threat of suspension by the French Federation, Ntilikina got off to somewhat of a slow start, undoubtedly in no small part due to the fact that he was extremely under the weather. In fact, he was taken to the hospital for blood tests in France's day off between the third and fourth (quarterfinal) game, as his flu symptoms were not improving. He was absolutely sensational in the knockout rounds, proving to be by far the best player on the court and at the tournament and making quite a few huge plays to help his team eventually win the Championship. His shot-making prowess in particular was a revelation, something that was considered somewhat of a weakness going into the year. Despite the sparse attendance of NBA executives in Turkey, Ntilikina certainly helped himself considerably at this tournament.

Likely still has plenty of room to improve athletically as his frame matures and he has NBA coaches and strength and conditioning staff in place to help him maximize his tools. Lower body in particular could get stronger, which may help him become more explosive. Defense, perimeter shooting and basketball IQ gives him tremendous versatility in today's NBA, allowing him to be utilized in many different roles and alongside all kinds of different teammates and lineup configurations.

Matchup Video: Frank Ntilikina vs Italy - U18 Euro Championship Semis

Bogdan Karaicic
Bogdan Karaicic
Dec 22, 2016, 12:12 pm
Bogdan Karaicic takes a closer look at French national team point guard Frank Ntilikina's 23 point (4/7 2P, 4/4 3P, 3/3 FT), 9 assist, 1 turnover performance against Italy in the semifinals of the U18 European Championship.

The highly regarded French teenager completely dominated the game on both ends of the floor against his peers, confirming his status as a likely lottery pick in next year's draft.

Bogdan Karaicic is a video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out his website for more video breakdowns. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us, so check out his archive frequently.

Matchup Video: Frank Ntilikina vs Mornar Bar

Bogdan Karaicic
Bogdan Karaicic
Dec 05, 2016, 11:26 am
Bogdan Karaicic takes a closer look at Strasbourg point guard Frank Ntilikina's 10-point, 4-assist, 3-rebound performance against Mornar Bar in the FIBA Champions League. The highly regarded French teenager matched up with three American backcourt players with SEC and Pac-12 pedigrees, making it an interesting evaluation setting for NBA scouts to observe the potential lottery pick.

Bogdan Karaicic is a video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out his website for more video breakdowns. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us, so check out his archive frequently.

Frank Ntilikina NBA Basketball Without Borders Video Breakdown

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Feb 19, 2016, 09:53 am
Breaking down how 17-year old French point guard Frank Ntilikina performed at the NBA Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Toronto last weekend. Also check out the scouting report we published on him and other prospects seen during all-star weekend.

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Basketball Without Borders Global Camp Evaluations: Guards and Wings

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Feb 15, 2016, 02:11 pm
Frank Ntilikina, 6'5, Strasbourg, France, 1998

Jonathan Givony

-Has excellent size for a point guard at 6'5, to go along with a nice frame and a very long wingspan (possibly close to 7-feet).
-Plays with terrific pace. Never looks rushed. Has the ball on a string. Knows when to speed up and when to slow down. Has outstanding potential on the pick and roll.
-Terrific passer with exquisite court vision. Distributes in many different ways. Constantly looking to find open man. Extremely unselfish.
-Seems to be making progress with his outside shot. Knocked down jumpers all camp long, particularly shooting off the dribble. Shooting 85% from the free throw line this season, which is encouraging.
-Multi-positional defender. Has excellent tools to lock down either guard spot with size and length, but also puts great pride in his work on this end of the floor. Can put strong pressure on the ball. Does a great job of staying in front.
-Gets blocks, steals and rebounds with his physical tools and feel for the game
-Terrific intangibles and family background. Looks like a coach's dream.

-Career 72/231 (31%) 3-point shooter. Showed the ability to throw the ball in the basket, but still does not have ideal mechanics and has struggled in particular in French junior league play this season (16/66 3P in 14 games).
-Unselfish to a fault at times. Overpasses when it would be in his team's best interest for him to simply go and score. Spent too much time trying to get his lesser-talented teammates involved, which may have contributed to relegating his BWB team to the loser's bracket.
-Doesn't get to the free throw line at a great rate, partially due to lack of aggressiveness and partially due to lack of strength.
-Still filling out physically like most 17-year olds. Lack of strength has hampered him from seeing too many minutes at pro level thus far.

Outlook: Incredibly mature 17-year old. Carries himself like a pro. Arguably the top prospect at the entire camp in terms of physical tools, current production and long-term upside. Continues to improve every time we see him. Seeing a handful of minutes at the highest levels of European basketball with Strasbourg as a third string PG.

2016 Basketball Without Borders Camp Roster Analysis

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Jan 30, 2016, 12:09 pm

-French point guard Frank Ntilikina proved to be one of the top prospects in attendance at last summer's U18 European Championship (playing up a year) and has done nothing to diminish that while earning some real minutes at the Euroleague and French league level despite being only 17 years old. The tall, long and fluid playmaker is highly unselfish and has terrific upside defensively. NBA scouts watching him for the first time are bound to be impressed with his maturity.

FIBA Europe U18 Championship Scouting Reports: Point Guards

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Aug 04, 2015, 04:19 pm
Jonathan Givony

-Excellent size for a point guard at 6-4 (possibly taller)
-Has an excellent frame that will fill out nicely in time
-Pterodactyl wingspan (7-feet?). Huge hands
-Still developing his athleticism, but shows nice potential. Can operate at different speeds. Plays above the rim
-Pure point guard who enjoys creating for others. Averaged 7.2 assists per-40
-Has a great floor temperament
-Shows great potential as a pick and roll player. Finds open man. Reads floor. Drives and dishes. Makes post-entry passes. Runs the show.
-Solid outside shooter, both with feet set and particularly off the dribble. Made 39% of his 3-point attempts on a solid volume
-85% free throw shooter at U18s and Espoirs league
-Tremendous potential defensively with combination of size, length and smarts.
-Closes out on shooters and contests jumpers extremely well
-Gets in passing lanes consistently (3 steals per-40 at U18s, 2.9 in Espoirs league)
-Solid rebounder for a guard
-Very impressive off the court.

-Needs to continue to hone his outside shot. Release is somewhat slow. Mechanics are a little bit funky. Jumper went in at U18s, but only hit 30% of his 3-point attempts in the Espoirs league this past season.
-Struggles to score efficiently inside the arc. Career 42% 2P% in 65 games
-Shoots underhanded floaters instead of strong layups. Doesn't know how to fully utilize his athleticism yet. Needs to continue to get stronger, tougher and more explosive with the way he attacks the basket in transition and in the half-court.

Outlook: Born in Belgium to Rwandan parents. Arguably the most talented long-term prospect at the entire event. Only turned 17 during the tournament. Has a great feel for the game to go along with phenomenal physical tools, court vision, defensive prowess and perimeter shooting ability.

Frank Ntilikina 2015 FIBA U18 European Championship Interview

Jul 27, 2015, 07:58 am
An interview with 6-5 French point guard Frank Ntilikina at the 2015 FIBA U18 European Championship in Volos, Greece.

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