The Knicks didn’t extend a qualifying offer to guard Frank Ntilikina at Sunday’s 5 p.m. deadline, The Post has learned, making him an unrestricted free agent.
While the Knicks could still sign him, the longest-tenured member of the team is likely on his way to greener pastures after a rocky four seasons in New York.
The Knicks could have kept Ntilikina restricted and matched any offer, but would’ve needed a cap hold that would’ve taken away their space at the starting gun of free agency, Monday at 6 p.m.
This move likely will give the Knicks $53 million in cap space. The team’s drafting on Thursday of point guard Miles McBride and shooting guard Quentin Grimes probably sealed Ntilikina’s fate.
Ntilikina played 211 games for the Knicks since 2017 and averaged 5.5 points. He never developed as a playmaker or ballhandler, though he became a keen defender.
Currently, Ntilikina is playing in the Tokyo Olympics for France, but he missed the first two games with a muscle injury before coming back versus Iran. Ntilikina’s national team is in the quarterfinals. He’s teammates with Evan Fournier, a Knicks free-agent target, and could give him a rundown on the franchise’s trials and tribulations.
Ntilikina’s Knicks career was beset by a series of groin and hamstring issues. He was out of the rotation almost all of this past season.
His term of service was doomed from the get-go. The 6-foot-5 point guard was selected to run Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and was picked eighth overall in 2017 — ahead of current Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. Jackson was fired as president days after that draft.