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Frank Ntilikina

Scouting Report

How does a role player at Strasbourg, a club team from France's top pro division, wind up as a seemingly surefire lottery pick? As is almost always the case, it's about potential - but Ntilikina should be able to contribute at a relatively high level as soon as he arrives in the NBA. He led France to the gold medal at the U18 European Championships in Turkey late last year, averaging 15.2 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 50 percent, and that's part of what has scouts drooling. What he did on the biggest stage made those overall averages look like nothing, though. Ntilikina had 23 points in the semifinals and 31 in the championship game, thriving after he was given free rein to run France's offense. With Strasbourg he's often been relegated to being a spot-up shooter, but that's not where he'll make an impact in the NBA. Ntilikina stands a legit 6-foot-5, and although he's currently thin as a rail, his wingspan - nearly 7 feet - makes him a potential nightmare defender on the perimeter. He can guard multiple positions, is excellent moving side to side and is a good team defender in addition to his individual work. He's a solid passer, albeit a somewhat reckless one at times, but his height and natural instincts allow him to make plays other guards can't. His dribbling could be an issue, and he doesn't have an excellent first step at this point, so blowing by a defender and getting to the basket isn't what his game is. The mechanics of Ntilikina's jumper need some work, and he's not great at shooting off the dribble. He might have to play off the ball for a while upon entering the league, but once he works on his handle and smooths out his jumper, the sky's the limit. It'd be a surprise to see Ntilikina last past the 10th pick, and the Mavericks at No. 9 - with a penchant for taking and developing international players - could be the perfect fit.


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