LAS VEGAS — Frank Ntilikina was out with a groin strain Tuesday, so that gave the Knicks a chance to take a look at former Arizona shooting guard Allonzo Trier at the point.
Remember these are the David Fizdale Knicks of positionless basketball.
According to sources, failed PED tests were not the overriding reason the Arizona sharpshooter didn’t get drafted, allowing the Knicks to snag him on a two-way G-League contract. It was partly Trier’s reputation as a shot-happy player who rarely looked to set up teammates.
Trier torpedoed that label Tuesday in the Knicks’ loss to the Lakers. The 6-foot-5 guard racked up 21 points, five assists and 10 rebounds. He shot 8-of-13 from the field.
Ntilikina is listed as day to day, allowing for a chance the point guard rests the final two games, including Thurday’s match against the Celtics. Trier played occasionally at point in his three years in Tuscon, Ariz.
“People underrate his playmaking,’’ one NBA scout said. “He maybe got a stigma as a selfish player but so far his best game in summer league is when he played the entire game at point guard.’’
The Knicks have not made any of their coaches available to the media after the past two summer-league games. David Fizdale said last week Trier reminded him of “a Lou Williams.’’
The Knicks were hot on Trier’s tail. In fact, Trier said he believed the Knicks considered him at 36. According to sources, the Knicks indeed would have drafted him had center Mitchell Robinson not fallen to them. As reported back then, general manager Scott Perry left the Knicks’ West coast trip in March to scout Trier in Arizona.
Sources said two teams, late in the second round, were willing to take a flier on Trier if he were willing to take a two-way contract. Trier’s representatives preferred at that juncture to go undrafted and become a free agent, knowing the Knicks would grab him.
According to sources, the Knicks have worked exclusively with Trier at moving the ball and seeing the court to enhance his sniper capabilities. He’s already an adept long-range shooter who can draw fouls in penetration.
In this new two-way structure, Trier’s maximum pay is $375,000 if he spends the maximum 45 days on the Knicks roster. The clock stops in early April, when the G-League finishes.
However, there could be scenarios in which a 15-man roster spot opens for Trier — if he excels in Westchester. Either the Knicks would have to move Courtney Lee, or Damyean Dotson and Ron Baker would have to regress.
To date, Trier, averaging 17 points, has outplayed Dotson, who has shot 6-of-24 in the three games and was a minus-37 vs. the Lakers.
The shotblocking rookie center Robinson, as active as he has been as a rim protector and garbage-bucket man, still finds himself making a plethora of mistakes, being out of position. That’s expected after a 14-month layoff and no college experience. He’s committed 18 fouls in three games (players foul out at 10). Against the Lakers, Robinson was a minus-33. He’s averaging 11.3 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
“I feel I was active but I could be better on defense,’’ Robinson told The Post.
Perry said Tuesday of their second-rounder:
“He’s an NBA-level athlete. That athleticism is going to be what he is the moment he wakes up in the morning. Do we see a lot of things from a technical basketball standpoint he’s got to improve and get used to? Absolutely. But it’s been pleasant to see him jump in head-first.”
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