New York Knicks rookie guard Quentin Grimes will have a tough time getting on the floor this upcoming season, with players like RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks ahead of him on the depth chart. However, Grimes is exactly the type of player that head coach Tom Thibodeau likes to deploy. He’s a defensive maestro with solid spot shooting who can connect from range frequently.
Grimes impressed during the NBA Combine, which catapulted his draft stock into the first round. Last season with the University of Houston, Grimes averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals, and shot 40.3% from three-point range. At 6’5″ and 210-pounds, Grimes continuously showed growth throughout the summer, finishing the Summer League in solid form.
Houston coach, Kelvin Sampson, is a defensive-centric strategist, which is why Thibodeau fell in love with Grimes as a potential first-round selection. Despite the team having their eyes on Chris Duarte out of Oregon, Grimes fits a similar mold with the ability to create shots for himself but also play adequate defense in his rookie season.
During Summer League play, Grimes average 32.8 minutes per game over six contests. He posted 15.3 points, shooting 41.6% from the field and 40% from three-point range, showcasing his shooting prowess and success rate. He also contributed 3.0 assists, and 6.3 rebounds to go with 0.5 steals.
Overall, Grimes is breaking out of the mold the coins him a 3-and-D player. He’s capable of playing the pick-and-roll and making plays for himself and others, which provides him with an immediate impact at the NBA level. He prides himself on defense, which will force Thibodeau to get him on the floor on occasion.
6/9) Quentin Grimes guards the hell out of it, man. Don’t recall him getting beat off the bounce once, and is attentive and aggressive off-ball (clip 1)- it’s been impressive.
This is illustrative of both games thus far. Slides, stays in front, forces his man into tough shots. pic.twitter.com/uV8T0HWmNS
— Rit Holtzman (@BenRitholtzNBA) August 11, 2021
Ultimately, injuries show up during a tough 82 game schedule, so Grimes will have to play solid minutes at some point, but he can provide a weapon off the bench in specific scenarios. For example, if the Knicks have a double-digit lead and are looking to break away even further, he’s a solid player to call upon to offer immediate offense while continuing his development.
I wouldn’t expect to see Grimes on the floor during high-intensity moments, but if he continues to perform well and translate his shooting abilities to game day, there’s no doubt he will make an impact.
As a fantastic perimeter defender with active hands in the passing lanes, he could quickly develop during his rookie season, which is what the Knicks are hoping for despite signing Burks to a three-year deal and expecting Quickley to take a step forward in his growth.
Quentin is the type of player that desperately needs live-action to gain ground, and I don’t think Thibodeau will refrain from playing him if he feels he can contribute more than a veteran. Ultimately, the Houston product can be a solid role player, while he will be fighting hard for minutes during his rookie campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make an impact one way or another off the bench.