Report: Knicks targeting French point guard Frank Ntilikina in draft

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In the last NBC mock draft, we have the Knicks taking Kentucky gunner Malik Monk with the No. 8 pick — he would be a popular choice with Knicks fans. No question he can fill it up.

The Knicks may have their eyes somewhere else, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

This could be part of a smokescreen — there’s more smoke being blown around the NBA right now than at a Cypress Hill concert. Eighth is certainly higher than most teams have Frank Ntilikina on their draft boards.

It also could be true. Ntilikina, who is a French national, is a tall, 6’5″ point guard — and we know Phil Jackson likes tall point guards. Ntilikina has a 7-foot wingspan and is strong defensively, something the Knicks desperately need. He is young and raw, he needs to be developed, but Ntilikina has the potential to be a strong two-way player. He has shown flashes of being someone very gifted on offense, a smart pick-and-roll player who has shown an ability to drive or knock down pull-up jumpers.

It’s going to be a big leap for him from playing in Strasbourg to the athleticism and defensive pressure he will see next season, but he has the physical tools to make it in the league.

The Knicks could see him as a good pairing with Kristaps Porzingis. They also must think his game fits the triangle offense.

It wouldn’t be crazy to see them go this direction, but I also wouldn’t bet the rent money on it.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.