Rumors: Dallas Mavericks plan to keep Frank Ntilikina

Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina
Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks signed Frank Ntilikina to a two-year deal just before training camp got underway last fall. He was their 16th guaranteed contract, and the Mavs had an open competition during camp for their final roster spot. Ntilikina beat out Tyrell Terry to stick on the roster, and the 23-year-old former lottery pick even stuck in the team’s playoff rotation as they reached the Western Conference Finals.

The second year of Ntilikina’s deal was non-guaranteed, but the date to keep him is July 4. Marc Stein reported that the Mavs plan to keep Ntilikina and lock in his full $2.0 million contract for the 2022-2023 season.

Locking Ntilikina in for next season should come as no surprise to fans. The Mavericks were already short on the wing, and they lost Jalen Brunson to the Knicks in free agency. Dallas needs help in the backcourt. They are searching for additions, but the market is quickly drying up.

Rumors: Dallas Mavericks plan to keep Frank Ntilikina

Ntilikina was in and out of the Mavericks rotation this season. He brings strong perimeter defense, but his offensive game is a work-in-progress. The Mavericks are hoping to help him transform into a 3-and-D wing. His jumper is improving, but Ntilikina made just 34.2 percent of his 111 3-point attempts last season.

Guaranteeing his $2.0 million contract was a no-brainer. The Mavs can easily move his expiring contract in a trade if they need to open up space, and there were zero better options to sign on the free-agent market at that price. Ntilikina will bring defense for Dallas next season if nothing else.

Ntilikina remains third string on the Mavericks depth chart. He will be behind Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Reggie Bullock, and Tim Hardaway Jr. for minutes in the backcourt.

Frank Ntilikina is a veteran, but he is still just 23 years old. He has plenty of upside and potential. Fans should expect him to continue working on his game as he looks to be a permanent fixture in the Dallas Mavericks rotation next season.

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