Mavericks trade for Frank Ntilikina in hypothetical deal: Should they?

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Does Frank Ntilikina fit with the Dallas Mavericks?

Part of trading for Ntilikina would be the belief in his ceiling and what he could become. This season, he averaged 6.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 0.9 steals in 20.8 minutes per game. Ntilikina shot 39.3 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from 3-point range which were both NBA career-highs. The 22-year-old takes 72.0 percent of his shots from the mid-range or beyond the 3-point line.

Ntilikina was the eighth overall pick in the 2017 draft for a reason, and those raw tools are still present. He is 6’4 and 200 pounds with a 7’1 wingspan. The 22-year-old moves his feet well and creates steals. He finished 114 in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR, though. Ntilikina is not an elite or lockdown defensive option at this point in his career. The Mavericks would have to believe he could become one to make the deal worth it.

Dallas also needs a plan for his offensive game. They have had success in recent seasons improving the 3-point shooting of players like Dorian Finney-Smith. Do the Mavs believe Ntilikina could make similar gains? Can they get him to attack the basket when left wide open? The plan and the belief they could execute it would be key parts of trading for the 22-year-old guard.

Next: Should the Mavs make the trade?